Are Robots the future?


If you think of a robot as a C-3PO-type android or a paranoid Marvin, you couldn't be further from today's reality if you tried. The closest sci-fi robot is probably a Skutter - robots that fulfil basic cleaning tasks or provide light entertainment. Cockroach bots and tiny fly-like robots that can perform environmental monitoring and surveillance are being produced that can learn and react to their environment. They will be used to clear up pollution, monitor climate change or infiltrate organisations big-brother style. So why am I writing about robots for forward2me? Well, because you might be interested in some of the latest innovations and well, because they're fun.

Household Robots

Lift your feet up...the vacuum cleaner's coming, all by itself. I would love a robot vacuum cleaner. Vacuuming bots are becoming very popular, especially for businesses or hard-working folks who have better things to do than vacuuming. There are several available and although the price tag is steep, just calculate how much your time is worth by the hour and see if the numbers start to add up. A robot might work out cheaper than a cleaner in the long run (although I suspect that they are a little like daleks and probably won't manage the stairs). I really fancy a Roomba. It gets very good reviews on John Lewis' website. Just order online and let our door-to-door tracked delivery service do the rest.

And for vacuuming outside? Lawn-mowing robots are great if you have a large garden and neither the time nor the energy to mow yourself. The Telegraph has listed the Top 5 with a heavy-duty robot coming first that can mow grass up to 6 inches long. The price is hefty, a bit like the robot, but it does sound good. The cheapest comes in at just under £1000, which compares to a good quality standard mower and again, if you factor in your time at an hourly rate, could be good value overall.

There are robots for floor scrubbing, drain clearing and even pool cleaning. Take a look at Robotshop to see the possibilities.

Sports and Play Robots

All work and no play makes for some unhappy robots. Sports robots are fairly common now, especially if you are a racket sports devotee but don't always have someone to play with. You could play with a robot in all that free time the new house-working robot created for you. Teessports' website has a useful comparison table for all the robots available for table tennis etc.

Robotic toys are always popular and have been since the first wind-up toys came out. Much more sophisticated robots are available for children that can interact and be programmed. You can even commission your own animatronic dinosaurs.  MIT has also developed a programmable robot garden with flowers and insects to encourage kids into programming and coding.

Do your kids drone on and on about drones? My son certainly does. He wants one, teamed up with a go-pro camera, because he's seen so much about them on TV. Popular for a while now, especially with camera enthusiasts, drones are the must-have robot ‘toy’ this year. There are some restrictions on flying and you will have to check in your country of residence whether you are allowed to fly it before ordering.

I'm afraid we don't use drones for our secure international deliveries just yet...