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5 Home Gadgets, Robots to Keep You Company in Your Corporate Rental

Terminator Genisys, the nth movie about the rise of the machines, is showing now. Weeks ago, it was Ex Machina that tackled artificial intelligence. Robots are the future for sure; hopefully it doesn’t carry Arnold’s voice or no voice at all. You just assign it to do a task–and it does things that for you as long as you have a remote control.

The first robots to hit critical mass were initially designed to be cleaners like the Roomba vacuum cleaner, but lately we’re getting glimpses of robots that are aimed to please in any way it can, without complaints, like butlers.

Some may even be just artificial intelligence or IoTs for now, able to answer questions when you’re home alone and bored out of your wits. Others you can bring outdoors like drones.

Here are robots that can keep you company when there’s no human around and real dogs are not even allowed in your corporate rental. Some are not yet available like the highly anticipated human-like Pepper and Robot Butler, so it remains to be seen if they will actually work.

1. Spot.

The Google-owned Boston Dynamics’s video of this four-legged 160-pound robot is impressive. It can run up hills, climb stairs and maneuver through elevated terrain. This self-stabilizing robot actually looks menacing enough to be in the next Terminator movie or at least, make R2D2 look like a useless soda can. It’s not out there yet, but once it becomes available, we’d venture to say, it’s a robot that you can bring with you on hikes.

2.  Jibo the social robot.

It’s hard to describe a robot this days if they don’t have a voice. Jibo has a male voice. Currently sold out, it has a striking resemblance with the Pixar logo. If you’re having a party at home, he can be your official photographer or your personal assistant, able to speak aloud messages and reminders.

He’s getting glowing reviews–and hope it doesn’t get into his head. Yahoo News: “Jibo’s potential extends far beyond engaging in casual conversation and completing daily tasks;” Wired: This friendly-robot could one day be your family’s personal assistant”; Mashable: “Jibo isn’t an appliance, it’s a companion, one that can interact and react with its human owners….”

3. Scooba.

When you’re living with someone, you feel obligated to do your share of cleaning. When you’re alone, it’s easy to be an absolute slob, disregarding cleaning altogether. From the same company that came up with Roomba, certainly one of the more popular early automatic vacuum cleaners, iRobot has come up with Scooba who does the same but more– it washes floors as well.  It’s not so much a companion but like a roommate who does the cleaning. It hums along with its engine sound. Does that make you feel less alone?

4. Amazon Echo.

It’s like Siri or Google Now but trapped inside a nine-inch black cylinder of a body. It’s more of a life organizer–you can tell it to set an alarm, assign it to remind you of things you need to buy, tell you the news, play your songs. It’s probably the most affordable companion you can find. Will it make you feel less lonely when you’re alone in your corporate rental?  It can tell a few jokes.

5. Your TV.

For all the wizardry of robotics, many of which are untested for long periods of time, there’s nothing like the good old-fashioned TV to keep your loneliness at bay. It’s definitely more multidimensional than the untested robots out there. If you have attached some gizmos with it, you can run it just using your voice. You can just keep it turned on without watching anything. A speaking voice other than your own would suffice, right?

Are these gadgets going to make your life less lonely? You may all the more hanker for human companionship, but when there’s no one around to talk to and you can afford to keep them hanging around, you could say just being able to interact with them will do, for now. (DC)