Autonomous vehicles are the future and many companies are getting ready to grab a chunk of the self-driving car market.
What about autonomous robots? We have heard a lot about those, but only a few companies have managed to come up with something substantial.
The latest device is called Kobi, and it's a robot that was designed to clean the yard. Now, this is a multipurpose machine with a lot of promise. From what we've come to understand, Kobi can mow the lawn, rake leaves and even shovel snow.
These types of yard work are backbreaking, so having a robot to do the deed is a welcome change. To allow the robot to perform various lawn maintenance tasks, the user must replace certain sections of the front to match with the work it will do for the day. Furthermore, to get it to work properly, the owner must first drive it manually around the yard before setting it loose on its own.
Doing this allows Kobi to know its surroundings, so no crashing into trees or venturing outside to be run over by a car. What's more interesting is the fact that Kobi also relies on beacons placed throughout the yard to help it navigate properly. For better collision detection, the Kobi comes packed with sensors.
Now, the most important thing here is the price. Don't expect it to be affordable - the Kobi costs a whopping $3,999 - but it could be worth it. From what we have come to understand, the Kobi in lawn mode can trim up to 7 acres of land. Furthermore, Kobi has an anti-theft feature so it should be difficult to steal. It also comes with an anti-theft pin code, and will emit a loud alarm sound should anyone attempt to take it without permission.
If you're not pleased with the robot's performance, it is possible to leave feedback. From there, Kobi will learn and improve over time.
With everything Kobi can do, the $4,000 price tag could be worth it, granting it performs the way it has been advertised.
Note that Kobi is not 100 percent autonomous since the owner can manually control the robot using a smartphone app. We're not certain if a smartphone app is good enough for controlling such a machine, but we'll find out eventually.
This is the first robot cleaner we've come across that can do so many things. The most notable robot cleaners right now are the ones that have been designed to clean in-house. Yard-clearing robots have yet to take off in any meaningful way.
Still, should this robot take off, we could see the end of human landscapers. People losing their jobs is never a good thing, but we can't help being impressed with Kobi. The future has finally caught up with us after all.
Drones will likely become a billion-dollar market before autonomous robots. The DJI and WeChat drones could see to that because of their affordable pricing. Robots have a long way to go before reaching that level.
The most interesting robot we've seen is probably the humanoid known as Kengoro. This robot sweats when it wants to cool down.