Unveiled at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show, the Aeolus Robot hopes to deliver the promise of Rosie the robotic maid popularized by The Jetsons. The prototype home robot showed off its skills at the show by mopping floors, moving furniture, and even retrieving drinks from the refrigerator on command.
Alexander Huang of Aeolus Robotics told the Washington Post that the household robot will learn its surroundings and the individual inhabitants of the home, adapting its behavior over time. “Right now it’s like a child, but we will continue to grow its capability so that it grows from a child to an adult,” he said. “The more people that use the robot, the stronger it becomes.”
The Chief Technology Officer of Aeolus was part of the team that brought IBM’s Jeopardy-winning AI program Watson to life.
One key feature of its machine learning is the ability to recognize thousands of different objects and return them to the appropriate place, so a child’s teddy bear won’t end up in the parents’ bedroom. The robotic arm allows it to pick up and manipulate objects with precision. It also connects to household IoT networks such as Google Home or Amazon Alexa, and it’s continuously updated.
The robot could even help find lost objects by remembering where it saw them last.
“This is the first multi-functional robot that can act like a human being,” said Huang. “You can say, ‘Hey, my room is clean now robot, so please remember this next time you clean and put all my things back in these exact same spots.’”
The robot may also be an invaluable companion for the elderly or handicapped. Using “posture recognition,” it could identify when a person has fallen or is facing a medical emergency such as a seizure and call for assistance.
Aeolus is somewhat evasive on the price, claiming the robot will cost less than a family vacation overseas.
About the size and weight of a 12-year-old child, the robot doesn’t yet have a name, but the company says it will be available later this year. “It’s our mission to bring together the latest in robotics, AI, and machine learning in an affordable in-home robot,” said Huang.