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The Toronto Star recently published an article dealing with advances in home robotics. When we last wrote on this subject in Artificial Intelligence and the Job Market, we reported the development of the Roomba, a floor vacuum cleaner. While appreciating the wonders of this marvelous device that can find its way around your floors and vacuum up dirt, dust, etc, we wondered about who would empty the dirt bags, plug in the recharger and look after maintenance of the device. Now the latest version can not only deal with carpets, tiles and hardwood floors, it can navigate around obstacles, such as sofas and chairs, and it can dock itself into a recharging station, empty its dust bag into a collector at the base station, and operate on a preprogrammed schedule.

Okay, these machines and others that wash your windows and mow the lawn reduce a lot of the drudgery of housework. But who makes the bed, fills and empties the dishwasher, does the laundry, maintains and supplies the gadgets, cleans the washrooms, usw.

We still think it will be long time , if ever, that the house-cleaning people will be out of business.


About the Author

Photo of Peter Farwell, authorPeter Farwell is the author or coauthor of several books on technology subjects. The subjects and leads to the books are spelled out on this website. The website also includes Current Developments in the selected topic areas, as well as blogs on these. subjects.

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