Home » Economy » Amy A1, Airbot & Co. – From vacuum cleaner to game-friend: Robots become assistants News

Amy A1, Airbot & Co. – From vacuum cleaner to game-friend: Robots become assistants News

Saturday, September 2nd, 2017 | Economy

"Robots are coming strong," says Sebastian Woldmann from GfK. "Just in time for the Christmas business, at least new devices will be launched in the USA." Robots for controlling networked household appliances were also included as well as those with which children could play. The market research institute Gartner sees enormous potential: worldwide sales are to increase within three years from currently 40 million to then 880 million a year. At the International Radio Exhibition in Berlin (IFA), in addition to household robots, humanoid machines play an important role – often with button eyes, small and cuddly to look like "Zenbo" by Asus or "Robelf".
Thanks to artificial intelligence, the digital roommates can answer questions, display information on the display, follow commands, and move around the room alone. Robots would become increasingly complex and could be used "in more and more areas," says Gartner expert Annette Zimmermann. Robotics and Qihan Technology have also long established themselves on the robot market as well as established technology companies such as Asus, Sony and LG Electronics.
The robot "Amy A1" relieves about the receptionist in the hotel, the "Airbot" of LG calls at the airport in Seoul travel times and accompanies passengers to certain shops, the Ubix "Alpha1 Pro" of 50cm , "Pepper" from Softbank is to be used as a monk in Japan, where human-looking machines have been used for a long time in care. In Germany, this would be unthinkable at the moment: The BlessU-2 blessing robot at the world exhibition on the Reformation for criticism – and at the same time a lively interest among thousands of visitors.
Cleaning or lawn mowing
In Germany, according to a Bitkom study, 15 percent of the population have a robot. As a rule, they are devices that take care of cleaning or lawn mowing – they move independently, detect obstacles and return to their charging stations when the battery is empty. The technically more sophisticated digital roommates are still expensive niche products: Amy A1 costs about 10'000 euros, for example. The Alpha1 Pro travels for a comparatively cheap 600 Euro into the children's room.
"It is certain that robots will not remain a gimmick, and if they are able to offer them more cheaply, we will be much more likely to hit them in the private sector," explains GfK expert Woldmann. Gartner analyst Zimmermann sees other factors that can make the robot more widely distributed: "On the one hand, the available computing capacity is steadily increasing, which means that no gigantic data centers are needed anymore, and on the other hand it can be covered by the cloud become."
A role is also played by language control, which has evolved and makes it possible for the personal digital assistants to understand and respond to instructions. With the help of so-called artificial emotional intelligence, robots will increasingly be able to respond to the moods and feelings of their users. What kind of face does the person make? What is the pitch? What do their gestures or movements mean?
"A Japanese smiles differently than a European"
What humans usually record in milliseconds with their counterparts, computers have to learn painstakingly. "Trivial is by no means", says Gartner analyst Zimmermann. The Boston technology company Affectiva, for example, has stored millions of facial expressions in its database. "A Japanese smiles differently from a European," Zimmermann explains. "There are cultural differences." These are for people like machines only with much experience to grasp.
With the increasing spread of humanoid robots, providers and authorities face new challenges, especially in Germany. Here the digital helpers discourage the minds more than other new technologies. In addition to the fear that the never-weary machine workers replace, it is about questions of data protection. This is especially important for parents whose children are playing with robots who are constantly online and can record conversations. Just recently the Warentest Foundation warned against spies in the children's room: Networked robots could be captured via a simple Bluetooth connection. Every smartphone owner can thus control the toy, use it as a bug or communicate with the child via the robot.


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