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Will there ever be a robot that does all the housework? © Getty Images

Will there ever be a robot that does all the housework?

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Asked by: Gareth Spencer

We already have specialised robots for housework: washing machines and dishwashers, plus robotic vacuum cleaners and floor mops. In development, there’s a laundry-folding robot called FoldiMate, which sucks in your clothes and spits them out in a neat pile; an automated ironing machine called Effie; and robotic chefs from Samsung and Moley Robotics.

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Offices in the US, meanwhile, can hire a toilet-cleaning robot, developed by Somatic. Sadly, combining all of these robots into one is just not possible with today’s technology – you would need a robot with the dexterity of the human body and the adaptability of the human brain, and we’re still many years away from that.

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Authors

Dr Peter Bentley is a computer scientist and author who is based at University College London. He is the author of books including 10 Short Lessons in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics and Digital Biology: How nature is transforming our technology and our lives.

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