Computer vision for home robots: from trivial to complex

Computer vision technologies are widely used in the present time, especially in robotics. Over the past few years, home robots that are designed to facilitate everyday life became very popular all over the world.

Cleaning robots

The development of the first robotic cleaners began in 2002. The first robots moved around the apartment randomly. Then, a simple navigation system was added to the robots: they could estimate the room size by the hittings against a wall. Such robots could clean the empty room thoroughly. The new generation of cleaning robots can build an apartment map using a camera or laser rangefinder. But they still not save people from cleaning: the modern home robots often miss garbage, can get lost in an apartment and are not convenient in service.

Robotic lawn mowers

Lawn mower robots work in the same principle as robotic cleaners. Unlike the vacuum cleaner robots, they don’t have a special garbage bag and remain mowed grass on the lawn. Most of the robots cannot define the boundaries of the lawn, so the owners have to install perimeters on a lawn for the robotic mower work. There are dozens of models of robotic lawn mowers on the market now. Experts predict the demand for them will increase as computer vision technology improves.

Robotic kitchen assistants

Moley Robotics company has presented its world’s first robotic chef in 2017. It was assumed that the robot would be able to prepare food using two hands like a person. You can find a promotional video demonstrating the robotic chef capabilities on YouTube.

This was not the first kitchen robot model in the world. For example, Robobarista wanted to teach a robot to make coffee and, in 2016, 3D curly pancakes printer was offered for sale on Amazon.

Social robots

One of the main tasks in artificial intelligence development is the creation of robotic assistants for the elderly and disabled people. There are many projects in this field starting from robots that can care bed patients to companion robots that can remind the elderly to turn off the stove or take medicine in time, and just talk with them.

Japanese Robear / RIBA is designed to help sick people move around.

Ramcip, Consequential Robotics was designed as an assistant for people with mild cognitive impairment.

Unfortunately, these robot prototypes cannot be assistants for elderly and disabled people now, until computer vision technologies are imperfect and cannot recognize people and objects around them correctly.