Google’s “Jetstons” Smart Home: Self Washing, Dishing, Cooking, and Shopping Robots. Rosie included?
Google is rushing to the smart home business. Acquiring Nest Labs, the smart home devices specialist, for 3 billion dollars and dozens of artificial intelligence and robotic companies in the last months doesn’t leave much doubt about where the internet giant is heading.
How would a “powered by Google” smart house look? Why would people give access to so much personal information that could be harvested inside their home to one of the biggest “big brother” corporations?
“Both companies believe in letting the technology do the hard work behind the scenes so that people can get on with their lives,” said Nest CEO Tony Fadell after the deal announcement with Google. “We’ve been working toward the goal of vehicles that can shoulder the entire burden of driving,” wrote Chris Urmson, one of Google’s Self-Driving Car Project directors. If Google’s smart home vision follows the same perspective as other Google products and projects, like their search engine and the recently-announced driverless car, which is to bring value and save time to the users, then we can expect to see some groundbreaking high-tech gadgets that would upgrade our existing electronics at home; do much of the routine, time-consuming housework for us; and enable us to better control and manage resource-consuming devices like energy and water in order to reduce bills and save money. Robots with built-in intelligence can bring “The Jetsons” smart home vision closer than ever.
According to an OECD study, an average 15-64-year-old woman spends 168 minutes per day on routine housework. If that number would be cut out by half because of the use of Google’s smart home robots, the time that woman would save during her lifetime is 1,533,000 minutes. That’s equal to 25,550 hours, 1,065 days, or 2.92 years (!) in terms of net time savings.
Source: OECD based on data from National Time Use Surveys
How can that amazing number be achieved? What can we expect to find in a Google smart home?
Smart Dishwashing Robot
Washing dishes is one of the most common housework we do. Our body requires several meals a day, and the byproduct of cooking and consuming these foods and beverages is tons of dishes. Some of us own dishwashers that can make the bitter task sweet, but they still require a considerable amount of work and maintenance. We need to pre-wash the dishes, arrange them in the machine, select the right program, arrange the dishes back in their place after process completion, and sometimes redo dishes with missed spots.
Smart dishwashing robot abstraction
A smart dishwashing robot might require minimum action to operate—just put the dishes in an input area, and the cleaning process begins: The device’s conveyor will insert the dishes to the device’s core, starting an analyzing process which detects the shape, weight, size, and material of each item with sensors and inspects the dirt with an electronic eye scanner. The device’s software will calculate the necessary cleaning operation using artificially intelligent software which is connected to the Internet and is capable of communicating and learning from other logged-in devices. The execution process will then launch and perfectly wash the items with a set of robotic hands, brushes, water sprays, and cleaning materials. After the cleaning process completes, the machine will automatically arrange the dishes in their predefined permanent place in the kitchen using robotic hands and surfaces!
Smart Laundry Robot
Another common housework is laundry. Today, we usually use washing machines, and sometimes a dryer machine, but it is up to us to select the right set of clothes, put the right amount of laundry cleaning materials, and select the right program for the washing session. After the machine finishes washing the clothes, we need to take them out, hang them one by one, and expose them to the sun or put them in the dryer. After several hours or days, when the laundry is dry, we need to flip them inside-out, fold them properly, and arrange them inside the closet.
A smart laundry robot might save us all that trouble. All we have to do is put the laundry in the input area. Smart sensors will split the laundry into matching sets, and once a set is ready, the device will calculate the required program using its own online, intelligent software. The laundry set will then be inserted inside the washing core, which can be similar to today’s washing machine, and the right amount of cleaning materials will be injected to the machine automatically. Once the laundry is clean, it will go to the next part, which is the drying core. Smart sensors will decide how much hot air needs to be applied until the laundry is dry and ready to move to the next step: the folding area. Electronic eye scanners will detect the shape, size, and material of each item and send instructions to a set of special, designed robotic hands in order to perfectly fold and arrange the laundry by predefined groups! Once the laundry is ready, it will carefully be placed inside the closet using…you guessed it…robotic hands! No further human action required.
Smart Cooking Robot
Many people like to cook and don’t consider it a painful task, but sometimes we just want a quick brunch and don’t have the time to fix it. Others just rely on eating outside, ordering food delivery, and can only dream at night of quitting fast food and eating fresh, healthy, and nutritious food.
This is where a smart cooking robot might come handy. With online access to thousands of recipes and a direct connection to the kitchen’s smart refrigerator and smart oven, it can fix us a decent meal by requesting the ingredients from the fridge, slicing, grinding, and mixing them with robotic tools, and sending them to the smart oven for the final touch to our automated meal. Automated cooking machines already exist in the industry. There is no reason they won’t start to appear in our kitchen. Bon appetit.
Smart Shopping Robot
If our refrigerator is so smart, there is no reason it couldn’t detect that we’re out of milk and communicate online with our favorite grocery store to order two gallons and save us the next food shopping trip.
Expect the Unexpected
All these smart devices can make our life much easier, but only if they apply what we expect and need. Our expectation of which, how, and when things need to be done could be controlled from an app installed on our smartphone or even by speaking directly to a Siri-like software agent. The management software might also allow us to monitor the ongoing process and used resources. We could program it in real time to achieve certain goals like energy saving preferences and tasks scheduling and to improve existing smart-home capabilities like automated temperature and light control, security management, and more.
Google and its founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, are well-known for their innovative, revolutionary vision and thinking. No one knows for sure what Google’s smart-home engineers are crafting at this moment. Based on the latest events, it isn’t science fiction to speculate that Google’s smart home could make our life significantly easier, release us from much routine housework and save us a considerable amount of time. Let’s just hope that we won’t spend all of that spare time watching Google ads.
What do you expect to be inside Google’s smart home? Would you consider buying it at a reasonable price? Where do you think GOOG stock is headed?