A Vacuum With An Arm - Engineers Create Heinlein's Hired Girl Robot
KIMLAB has implemented a mobile manipulator based on a vacuum robot and an add-on mechanism by employing our PAPRAS (Plug-And-Play Robotic Arm System)
In this paper, we present a modular add-on system that can be seamlessly integrated with an off-the-shelf vacuum robot to expand its capabilities beyond vacuuming. Employing the add-on system enables seamless integration of a manipulator, which can be effortlessly attached and detached with minimal alterations to the vacuum robot, without compromising its original functionality. Furthermore, the add-on system allows for the incorporation of a potent manipulator capable of performing household tasks, demonstrating its potential for practical applications.
The system augments the vacuum robot's capability by adding a 6-DOF manipulator, an RGB-D camera for superior perception, and a LiDAR sensor for enhanced navigation. This allows users to upgrade their existing vacuum robots, enabling them to handle a more extensive array of household tasks. We showcase the system's ability to navigate to specific locations on a map, open doors, grasp objects, and place them in designated locations through a basic demonstration, highlighting its improved perception and manipulation abilities. Our approach presents a practical solution for homeowners seeking an affordable and versatile household cleaning robot with extended functionality.
What Hired Girl would do (the first model, not the semi-intelligent robot I developed it into) was to clean floors . . . any floor, all day long and without supervision. And there never was a floor that didn't need cleaning. It swept, or mopped, or vacuum-cleaned, or polished, consulting tapes in its idiot memory to decide which. Anything larger than a BB shot it picked up and placed in a tray on its upper surface, for someone brighter to decide whether to keep or throw away.
(Read more about Heinlein's hired girl robot maid)
Update 30-Oct-2023: I should add this picture of a robotic lawnmower from City (1944) by Clifford Simak: