The mechanical button or switch is that most simple of user interfaces. So simple that just about every electrical device in the home, from lights to coffee machines, will have one. With the goal of letting these legacy devices join the home automation bandwagon, South Korean startup Naran has come up with Microbot Push – a wireless robotic "finger" designed to operate standard buttons and switches.
If you've ever wanted the perfectly mixed drink, you may soon be in mechanized luck. An automated bartender is about to begin serving the public. Makr Shakr is claimed to be the world’s first robotic bar and can apparently mix one Googol (the digit 1 followed by 100 zeroes) drink combinations.
Devices like the Netatmo Welcome and Blacksumac Piper can provide a real-time video stream of your home, but they can only look in one direction. The newly-launched Branto Orb, however, can view a room in 360-degrees. It has a host of communications, security and home automation features.
A new hotel that is staffed with robots has opened in Japan. The Henn-na
Hotel (which translates as "Strange Hotel"), is part of the Huis Ten
Bosch theme park complex in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture. Guests can also
access their rooms via face-recognition, and are able to control room
amenities via tablets.
At first glance, it's easy to come to the conclusion that the Ziosk tablet heralds the end of table service jobs. After all, these faceless waiters can take your food and drink orders at any time you like, they can offer you today's specials and upsell you, they can take your payment and tips – heck, they can even entertain your kids or post a group photo to Facebook for you. So what's left for your friendly, fleshy, human wait staff to do? More of what they're best at, as it turns out.
Doctors and nurses in Japan – or in other countries, for that matter –
may soon have some robotic company when making their rounds. That's
because researchers at Toyohashi University of Technology are developing
an omnidirectional robot named Terapio, that's designed to take the
place of a traditional medical cart.