Most modern robots don't look much like the Jetsons' maid.
How many robots have served you today? Chances are, you've used some kind of a money-handling robot. Perhaps it was the ATM machine, the self-check lane at the grocery store, or the pay-at-the-pump at the gas station.
Robots are mechanical devices, controlled by electronics, that do jobs previously done by humans. Even modern household appliances like automatic dishwashers, washing machines, bread-baking machines, etc. could be considered robots. They may not have the intelligence and lovability that Rosie of the Jetsons did, but I do appreciate them!
Modern robots in everyday use include everything from big-armed automatic car washes to the tiny "scopes" that doctors send into various parts of our bodies. (And personally, I prefer car washes!)
My husband's cousin learned to be an electrician at the Allis Chalmers plant in Independence, MO, in the late 1960s. Later at General Motors in Kansas City, he was trained in industrial robotics and spent the rest of his working years doing that, quite profitably. A neighbor of ours (sadly, now deceased), who lived down the road about 2 miles here in Kentucky, traveled all over the country setting up robots in factories.
Today, I read about a robot that should be popular for both homeowners and commercial lawn-care firms -- a little remote-controlled gizmo that scoots through gutters. It uses augers and a brush to whiz out the leaves and collected crud.
The (South) Koreans have launched an ambitious program that is supposed to put a Ubiquitous Robot Companion in every home by 2020. One model is a roly-poly Rosie-like robot that's probably pretty cute in action, especially while it's doing work for you!
The robots will clean up homes, care for pets, read to children and identify visitors... Half of them will be controlled remotely via cell phone.
Source: Robots to do Household Work in South Korea, UPI article published on Physorg.com, July 03, 2006
Another article about Korea's rapid advances in household robotics reports that South Korea put 72% of their households on broadband in just five years! Based on the rate that broadband has been adopted in western Kentucky, Ubiquitous Household Companions may be available and affordable by the time my children are grandparents. But that's another topic.