Domestic Robots – Do YOU trust them?




7 in 10 Americans would totally trust a domestic robot to do their chores, according to Yahoo.

Yet, what about Brits? How do we feel about domestic robots?  

(A domestic Robot is an autonomous Robot that is primarily used for household chores)

Specops Software wanted to find out how we Brits felt about robots doing chores so surveyed 2,424 British consumers. They found out something quite the opposite to our American counterparts.

The survey consisted of the questions based on the characteristics of domestic robots. Specops wanted to identify the elements British people believe would make “ideal” robot for the home.

Some of their findings included:

  • 61% of people do not want domestic robots to read emotion
  • 88% of Brits would like the ability to modify their domestic robot
  • 39% of Brits would be likely to purchase a domestic robot, if available now
  • 82% of people would prefer a domestic robot with gender neutral characteristics
  • 82% of people do not want domestic robots to have access to personal, private data

So it looked like us Brits don’t like the idea of Robots doing our chores for us! With many of the statistics being based around privacy based concerns such as reading emotion and access to private personal data.

So, 77% of Brits do not want human-like robots in the home and: 

  • 61% of people do not want domestic robots to read emotion
  • 88% of Brits would like the ability to modify their domestic robot
  • 39% of Brits would be likely to purchase a domestic robot, if available now
  • 82% of people would prefer a domestic robot with gender neutral characteristics
  • 82% of people do not want domestic robots to have access to personal, private data

Domestic Robots Emotion

The most interesting statistic that Specops found was that 39% of Brits agree that it would be an asset for domestic robots to be able to read emotion. With the most favourable emotions ranking as most favourable to be read:

  1. Stress (60%)
  2. Fear (40%)
  3. Happiness (40%)

Functionality wise, 59% of Brits would like domestic robots to memorise what they see and do. While 41% would prefer robots forgot what they see and did instantly.


But how do we want our robots to look? Well us Brits want domestic robots to look:

  1. Mechanical (65%)
  2. Be neutral in colour (53%)
  3. Have round, soft edges (29%)
  4. Be small and compact (53%)

While, a whopping 82% of people surveyed would like a domestic robot to have gender neutral characteristics (male 6% / female 12%)

We would also like to be able to modify the domestic robot if it were to exist (88%) most favourable modifications:

  • Ability to change its voice or noises (100%)
  •  Wipe its memory instantly (87%)
  • Download apps to increase its knowledge and performance (80%)
  • Extend or add different parts (60%)
  • Change its “skin” / outer casing (27%)
  • Zap or radiate when touched by something unknown (7%)

82% of us believe that the most effective use for a Robot is for security and surveillance.

Cleaning and use as a personal assistant came in a close second at 76%. Entertainment ranked 3rd at 65%, Cooking 53% in at 4th, companionship ranked 5th at 35%, furthermore guidance and advice 6th at  24%, healthcare  7th at 18% and Childcare came last at 6%

Specops Software)


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Robot Guards will take your photo!

Robot Guards will now take your photo if you attack it. In various places in America robots are roaming about to monitor places such as banks, casinos, malls and hospitals. Earlier this month in Hayward California, a security robot captured video of an alleged attacker before it was knocked over.

Knightscope who make the robots say that they weigh a total of 398lbs. That’s alot! Knightscope tells The Verge that there are 75 robots deployed in 15 different US States, and a report at Vox suggests that they won’t be replacing human guards any time soon. Slack has two robots from Cobalt to help secure it’s offices, but real human guards are still there.

The bots do simple on-duty tasks such as scanning a doorway. While humans need to intervene if it detects some tomfoolery. Futhermore the bots from both Knightscope and Cobalt don’t have any weapons so won’t be able to use force.

(The Verge)

They don’t have weapons now but we wouldn’t be surprised if things like tazers and batons where implemented into the robots at some point in the future.

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Well, looks like Steph Curry better watch out! A record breaking basketball playing robot named CUE3, has been birthed by a team of Toyota Engineers. How good is it? Well it can land a free shot, perfectly hitting the target, more than 2,000 times in a row.

It originally was a spare time project, designed to demonstrate the potential of robotics and artificial intelligence. It may display some incredible sporting ability and accuracy. However, the same technical innovation is being applied to Toyota to create robots which help. Helping the injured and disabled rehab in their day to day lives at home.

CUE3, is as the name suggests, the teams third iteration of the concept. It was revealed at a pro-basketball match in Japan earlier this year. It stands 6ft 10″ tall and wears the #93 vest.  A simple video of the robot landing a centre line, took the web by storm. As it was so popular online, the team bidded to set a Guinness World Record. A record for the most consecutive basketball free throws by a humanoid robot.

Earlier versions of CUE3 were unsuitable for such record attempts. Mainly due to the fact it took up to 3mins to reset the machine after each shot. The team got to work and 5months later CUE3 made the record bid a realistic possibility.

Not settling for 5 successive shots that were needed to set the record, the team wanted more! However, they were a little unsure of how much repeated movement would affect the robot. Plus the air pressure in the balls and the angle of the hoop also needed to be accounted for. Plus they also had to retrieve the ball and place it accurately in CUE3’s hands for the robot to be able to pot successfully.

CUE3 Completing The Task

CUE3 landed 5 shots with easy. Then 200. 3 hours later that number was set at 1,000. That’s 1 every 12 seconds. The team stopped at 2,020 shots. The same number of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics date. It accomplished this feat in 6hrs and 35mins.

“For the record attempt, we remained members of Toyota, but also collaborated with a professional sports team to embark on a challenge no one else had undertaken. We would be delighted if as many people as possible developed an interest in basketball, robots and manufacturing as a result of watching our efforts.” – Project leader Tomohiro Nomi

The CUE team are now looking to take part in an all-stars match in January 2020, which could see CUE3 evolving yet again.

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Lets Play: Override: Mech City Brawl

Love robots? Love fighting games? Well we have just the game for you! It’s called Override: Mech City Brawl and it is a LOT of fun! We suggest that you mainly play with friends as it’s a lot more enjoyable with a buddy than without. Don’t have a buddy in the house with you? Fear not as there is online multiplayer to get your robot beat em up fix!


There are a rang of different mechs to take a hold of. Like many fighting games, each character has their own play style, special moves and finishers. The environments that you fight in are totally destroyable too, therefore you’re able to completely obliterate entire cities on your quest to become the king of the mechs! Especially since your fists are the size of skyscrapers!

There are a total of 12 characters that you can play in and a whole host of famous cities to duke it out in. Such as Tokyo and San Francisco, countries also include Egypt and Mexico, quite the mix of environments!

As well as multiplayer users are also able to fight in co-op mode. Sounds weird doesn’t it? A co-op mode on a fighting game. Tag Team mode? Nope. Something very very different and very very cool, if we say so ourselves! In co-op mode 2-4 players take control of one part of a mech! Speaking of mechs, they are fully customizable to whatever you desire.

Story mode takes you along a journey to defeat the alien invasion and save the world, so you got to use the same drill-powered horns or old fashioned mouth lasers that you do to defeat your foes in multiplayer to help save the world in story mode.

(Override: Mech City Brawl)

First DLC

Following the launch of Override: Mech City Brawl, Stardust a downloadable DLC character, the games first post-launch DLC will bring this incredible mech to gamers. The mech has a penchant for posing extravagantly and kicking up hooves of steel, unleashing an all manner of aerial launches and sassy shooting stars.

Owners of the Super Mega Charged edition of Override: Mech City Brawl will get this character for free! As well as Stardust, any future mechs released, owners of the Super Mega Charged edition will also recieve them for free. If you purchased the normal edition it will cost you £3.29, Stardust will come to consoles on December 14th.

Overall this game is tons of fun and a very unique spin on the fighting genre. We especially liked the co-op mode and found it challenging yet tons of fun. If you’re looking for a breath of fresh air in the beat ’em up genre, look no further than Override: Mech City Brawl!


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Robot peer pressure

Robot Peer Pressure

According to a study published by the journal of Science Robotics, researchers from Germany and the UK demonstrated that children are susceptible to peer pressure by robots.  Scarily the findings, say the researchers that as robots and AI’s become more and more intergrated into our lives, we as humans need to be careful how they influence us. Especially the young. As it can be stated that the AI and robots could change the way that we act. Our entire behaviour could be changed by Robot peer pressure.

Authors of the paper were asking:

“if robots recommend products, services, or preferences, will compliance […] be higher than with more traditional advertising methods?”

The researches made an effort to note that robots are being introduced to plenty of other places where social influence could be important. These social environments include places of health care, education and security.

The paper was a study of a social experiment on social conformity. It’s slightly been adjusted for the modern day robotics environment. It’s called the Asch experiment.

Asch Experiment:

The experiment was that there was no correct answer to the ambiguous autokinetic experiment.  How could we be sure that a person conformed when there was no correct answer?

Asch (1951) devised what is now regarded as a classic experiment in social psychology, whereby there was an obvious answer to a line judgment task.  If the participant gave an incorrect answer it would be clear that this was due to group pressure.

Aim: Solomon Asch (1951) conducted an experiment to investigate the extent to which social pressure from a majority group could affect a person to conform.

Procedure: Asch used a lab experiment to study conformity, whereby 50 male students from Swarthmore College in the USA participated in a ‘vision test.’ Using a line judgment task, Asch put a naive participant in a room with seven confederates. The confederates had agreed in advance what their responses would be when presented with the line task.  The real participant did not know this and was led to believe that the other seven participants were also real participants like themselves.

asch (1951) line study of conformity


Each person in the room had to state aloud which comparison line (A, B or C) was most like the target line. The answer was always obvious.  The real participant sat at the end of the row and gave his or her answer last.

There were 18 trials in total, and the confederates gave the wrong answer on 12 trails (called the critical trials).  Asch was interested to see if the real participant would conform to the majority view. Asch’s experiment also had a control condition where there were no confederates, only a “real participant.” (Simple Psychology)


The test is used to illustrate how humans can be influenced by groupthink. To the point where people will deny even the most obvious of facts.

One of the cards used in the original Asch test. Participants had to say which line on the right was closest in length to the line on the left.

Image: Creative Commons

Group Influence

In the experiment Asch invited 50 males students to take part in the line vision test. They were all asked to sit around a table. They were then shown a line on a chart next to a group of three other lines in varying lengths. Each labled A, B, Or C. They were then asked which line is the closest in length to the first. While the answer is obvious only one participant is ‘real’ the rest are actors.

The actors would all vote for an incorrect answer, the test was done to see if group responses can influence someone. In the test, the real one. The person who isn’t an actor would 1/3rd of the time cave to social pressure. Giving the same wrong answer as those before them. (The real participant, always would answer last) Over the course of 12 different tests 75% of participants conformed at least once while a quarter never conformed to social pressure.

Robot Peer Pressure

It is here where scientists wanted to see if it would work with Robots. Tony Belpaeme, a professor of robotics at the University of Plymouth, looked to repeat this experiment with humans/robots. With both adults and children to see what the outcome would be.

Somewhat unsurprisingly, Adults didn’t feel the need to follow the example of the robot peer pressure. However, when the children were involved with the test, they wre much more likely to cave to social pressure from the robots.  “When the kids were alone in the room, they were quite good at the task, but when the robots took part and gave wrong answers, they just followed the robots,” said Belpaeme.


Images showing the robot used (A); the setup of the experiment (B and C); and the “vision test” as shown to participants (D).

Photo by Anna-Lisa Vollmer, Robin Read, Dries Trippas, and Tony Belpaeme


The Verge are reporting that although robot peer pressure and the susceptibility of the children that’s most shocking, it’s also the fact that adults weren’t swayed which is also significant. As it goes against the theory in sociology known as “computer are social actors” (CASA) The theory deems that humans tend to interact with computers as if they are humans. The results of the 1996 study highlights that there are limits to this theory.

Belpaeme though was unswayed by this, as he stated that they were ‘expected’ as the robots that they used in the experiment were ‘too toylike’ to be influential to the adults. After the experiment the adults were quizzed and they informed researchers that they though the Robots were malfunctioning or weren’t intelligent enough to correctly answer.

As a result Belpaeme suggests that if they were to undertake the experiment again, with more impressive robots, the results may be different.

Human behaviour around robots

The Verge are reporting that while this experiment doesn’t prove the CASA theory, it does highlight human behaviour when it comes to robots. Previous studies have proved that we’re more likely to enjoy interacting with robots that are more human like. Or those that reflect the same personality as us.

We as humans even stereotype robots based on their perceived gender, as shown by the virtual assistant. (Which begs the question, why do nearly all of them have female names, Siri, Cortanta, Alexa?) Social instincts are also affecting our behaviour when talking to robots. It’s been said that we find it more difficult to turn off robots if they’re begging us not to.  Another study even suggested that we are better at paying attention if we are being watched by a robot that we perceive as mean.

Children Vs Adults

The report means that it’s children whom are more likely to give in to robot peer pressure. While researchers warn that adults aren’t immune. The dynamic between us and robots is something that we need to pay attention to. Even more so as AI is getting highly sophisticated. A good example of how easily we can be swayed by social pressure is the personal data scandal from Cambridge Analytica. If combined with social AI, it could be very messy. Belpaeme states ‘This technoligy will be used as a channel to persuade us, probably for advertising’. However it could also be used in a merciless manner.

While robot peer pressure can be used for good, such as educational settings to in still good learning habits, furthermore there’s evidence that robots can help develop social skills in autistic children.


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Robots Takeover?

Robots takeover?!

Robots takeover? People are afraid they’re losing their job to a robot!

Losing your job to a robot.

While robots are here to help make our lives easier and we’re grateful for that. Robots may be starting to get a little too helpful. Are we heading for robots takeover? Consequently that’s making a lot of people worried. According to a new piece of research published today a quarter of British workers are worried that robots are going to replace them. A YouGov survey of 1,000 Brits, analysts found that 7% of workers. That equates to 10Million people. Are worried that their job is going to change for the worse. While a much larger percentage (23%) are concerened that their job will become void. The research goes hand in hand with a 2 year commission on workers technology. Which will address the change and help workers re-skill if necessary.

Yvette Cooper MP, chair of the home affairs select committee stated:

‘The digital revolution means technology and jobs are changing faster than ever….. This survey of workers found that almost a quarter of workers are worried that their job will no longer be needed. And whilst it found that most people are optimistic that they will be able to change and update their skills, they also say they are not getting any help or support to train or adapt from the government, their employer or a trade union…..It is vital that action is taken now to ensure changing technology doesn’t widen inequality and to make sure all workers feel the benefits.’

Robot protection

While those that were surveyed were worried that their jobs would be taken, 9% took a different view. They asked the government if they are taking steps to prepare for new workplace technologies. (i.e. losing their job to a robot) The commission addresses these fears and are working to ensure that technological changes in the workplace will lead to good jobs. Furthermore, more allegedly seems to be done to help robots stay at bay. With the commission planning to bring the government, employers and trade unions in check regarding technological advancements and automation in the workplace.

‘Automation cannot simply be opposed, rather it should be made to work in the interests of working people. Our members are already dealing with the consequences of automation being managed badly. Government and business need to step up too, but trade unions have a central role to play,’  Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary of Community (A workers union)


So, Will it make more jobs in other sectors or will we be slaves to robot forever? Also, Will Robots takeover in 20years?

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Robots Replacing Us?

So, it turns out that Robots are here to take over and there’s nothing we can do about it. They’re even going to be taking over our pets lives. Maybe even their jobs! (Can being our pet be classed as a job?) Well, it might as well be because they’re about to be booted from existence in our lives in favour of their metal counterparts!

Here are 5 Robots that may come take over the world:

Pet Robots

Zoomer Kitty. Yes that is it’s real name.

It’s a smart pet cat, a robot cat. It can feel your touch and purrs in response to it. Zoomer Kitty even does things that your own cat cannot. It can sing! Well hum. It hums three blind mice. (Poetic Irony? Or just trolling)

The Zoomer Kitty is described as a ‘tailed cushion that heals your heart’ So, at least the cat won’t poop in your house. Consequently, saving a lot of money on cleaning materials.

Wait? A tailed cushion!?! Since when did people use their cat as a cushion?!?!?! Most of all, WHO is using their cat as a cushion?

Babysitter Robots

The Cocotto from Panasonic is being described as a robot that can act as an ‘educational companion’ for your kid. Yes that’s called a Playstation 4.

It can talk to your children in a weird robotic sound that sounds something out of a horror movie.

But it can chat to our children and understand what is being said and even ask to go to the bathroom!?

However, the main aim for Cocotto is to build a child’s conversational skills through motion and communication.

Colon Robots?!

Robots  are coming to the medical industry too!

Instead of having a finger up your bottom, or even a camera. Now you can put a robot up there to look for any problems instead!

All joking aside though. The robot can do really good and is designed to ease the passage of colonoscopies to prevent cancer.


Assistant Robots

CLOi from LG is their aim at being Alexa’s smarter sister. CLOi will recognise each family member and interact with them accordingly. Furthermore the smart robot will interact with all the different smart technology in your home. Also, there are Waiter, Porter and Shopper concept versions even exist too!

So, CLOi is kind of like a smart hub, that will interact with every other LG enabled smart tech in your home. Looking at the video above. LG are indeed looking to make their own Alexa. Not just a smart assistant but with a more talkative, human like experience, Smart hub.


Book Reading Robots

Firstly, you don’t even have to read your child a bed time story.

This is Luka. Luka is an intelligent robot that can help your child read any book. As well as this educational aspect, Luka can also teach them good habits. Also, Luka can play interactive games (which are educational too!) As one of them is called the ‘Tooth-Cleaning contest!

Human Robots

This is Simroid. Simroid has been designed to help practasing dental surgeons hone their skills before being let wild at your teeth. The robot is designed to act like a human. It sits in a dentist chair, following orders from budding surgeons. Also, it would even make facial expressions if they make mistakes and cause pain!

Simroid is not just for teeth either. Another version was created to simulate the effects of swine flue. The robot was coated in human like skin. Furthermore, it sweats, moans, cries, convulses – just as us humans would if we were infected with H1N1. Lovely. What’s even more crazy is that the robot can DIE! If the robot is not treated correctly symptoms worsen and then the robot dies.


Astronaut Robots

Furthermore, IMB have created Crew Interactive Mobile Companion. CIMON for short. It’s designed as a companion robot for all the lonely astronauts up there in space on the ISS.

However, CIMON will even help with simple tasks, display diagnostic data and it can even be a friendly psychotherapist due to its complex neural network.

Probably best start packing our bags now eh?

Credit goes to the Metro

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Robots could transform healthcare and emergency response

AI could be the way forward for emergency response teams

The Edinburgh Centre for Robotics (ECR) has received new funding and a health care revelation has been predicted.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is being used by the researchers to create robots that will learn from their environment, each other and us.

The £8 Million funding is awarded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) in the UK. Thanks to the funding the centre will also be able to open a Robotarium.

The EPSRC have now also promised an extra £1 Million more, to develop four new robots that will use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to transform healthcare and emergency response.

Spinach Heart

Scientists have found a way to turn spinach leaves into human heart cells that function. Yes. Spinach Leaves.

Scientists pump a detergent through the spinach which strips it of all of its plant cells, turning it into a clear shell made of cellulose. The scientists then culture the heart cells by sending both fluids and microscopic beads through the spinach’s veins to feed the new cells.

It’s safe and potentially a great way to grow new heart tissue. Other methods such as 3D printing aren’t as good as Spinach as printing can’t replicate a complex network of veins which are needed to grow cells. What’s incredible is that the cellulose in the Spinach is bio compatible so you won’t have to worry about your body rejecting it (If it was 3D printed)

It is just research at the moment and is a long way off but if this happens it could be HUGE and not just for other body parts too.

Find out more here:


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Episode 180 Rust Bucket