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Why do we need robots?

Seif El Shinawy
Jul 3, 2015 · 2 min read

Throughout history we’ve always imagined what it’s like to have a robot at our homes, offices, and schools. But why?

I’m specifically talking about the human-sized robots, not the ones you see in factories, not the ones in cars, or the software only AI. I’m talking robot hardware powered by advanced AI.

Are we lazy enough that we can’t get up to grab a beer?

Are we that lazy that we can’t get up to grab a beer? I think not. There must be a bigger cause, a bigger message to why we need robots.

The obvious starting point is elderly care. People who are actually unable to get up to get the medications, open the door, or sweep the floor, do need robots. We should maybe persue making robots only for this reason because one day, we’ll all be old and we’ll all need a helping hand.

Another obvious need for robots is to help with disaster situations, hence the DARPA robotics challenge. Here robots could go places where humans can’t and eventually save us. In this situation we might depend on robots since they will eventually be more efficient than us at this job.

Getting to that point requires time, a lot of time. What if we could have robots that do simple things, think of the roomba. A single function robot that could perform a task, very poorly to say the least, that most of us despite doing. Could we build on that dream and build a sophisticated robot that will navigate indoors, perform simple tasks, entertain us, and start there?

Surely voice-commands are not where we’d like them to be

What would the user interface be like? because surely voice-commands are not where we’d like them to be, sometimes more frustrating that helpful.

In that sense, do we need robots?

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Seif El Shinawy

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