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Mario Munich at AI Frontiers : Consumer robotics: embedding affordable AI in everyday life


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The availability of affordable electronics components, powerful embedded microprocessors, and ubiquitous internet access and WiFi in the household has enabled a new generation of connected consumer robots. In 2015, iRobot launched the Roomba 980, introducing intelligent visual navigation to its successful line of vacuum cleaning robots. In 2018, iRobot launched the Roomba i7, equipped with the latest mapping and navigation technology that provides spatial information to the broader ecosystem of connected devices in the home. In this talk, I will describe the challenges and the potential of introducing consumer robots capable of developing spatial context by exploring the physical space of the home, and I will elaborate on the impact of AI in the future of robotics applications. Moreover, I will describe our vision of the Smart Home, an AI-powered home that maintains itself and magically just does the right thing in anticipation of occupant needs. This home will be built on an ecosystem of connected and coordinated robots, sensors, and devices that provides the occupants with a high quality of life by seamlessly responding to the needs of daily living – from comfort to convenience to security to efficiency.

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Mario Munich at AI Frontiers : Consumer robotics: embedding affordable AI in everyday life

  1. 1. Consumer robotics: embedding affordable AI in everyday life Mario E. Munich, PhD SVP Technology November 10, 2018
  2. 2. 2 The Consumer Robot Company iRobot is the global home robot leader. We bring over 25 years of advanced robotics experience into helping people find smarter ways to clean and accomplish more in their daily lives. More than 20M robots sold. Roomba Braava
  3. 3. 3 The Roomba i7 3 Navigation sensors: • Odometry • Gyro + Accel • Mouse • Camera • Bumper (2 switches) • Cliff sensors Connectivity • WiFi
  4. 4. 4 • Cameras provide a large amount of information at an efficient cost • Vision can be used for • Localization and mapping • Object recognition • Semantic understanding • User interaction • Pet detection • Obstacle avoidance • … • (large datasets for AI) • Alternative technologies based on lasers (LRFs, LIDARs) are either less rich in terms of information or unaffordable Vision vs. alternative technologiesPowered by Computer Vision
  5. 5. 5 Multi-sensory sets of information
  6. 6. 6 Challenge: Cost! 6 Rule of thumbs in consumer electronics/toys: Production Cost : 20% – 30% retail price Retail Price: $300 Production Cost: $60-$90 Vacuum, motors, wheels, buttons, boards, CPU, memory, brushes, bins, plastic, sensors, batteries... How much HW can you get for $60!!??
  7. 7. 7 7 A Vision of Robots and the Smart Home.
  8. 8. 8 Capturing Temporal Information
  9. 9. 9 9 Good Morning.
  10. 10. 10 Near fridge Morning Routine.
  11. 11. 11 11 Home Alone.
  12. 12. 12 12 Welcome Back.
  13. 13. 13 13 The Smart Connected Home is forecast to be a $200+ billion market by 2025.* Providing for increased comfort, security, & efficiency, leveraging 100s of connected devices & sensors installed in the smart home. *Unlocking the Potential of the Internet of Things, McKinsey Global Institute, 2015
  14. 14. 14 Internet of Things and the Smart Home Market Source: Unlocking the Potential of the Internet of Things, McKinsey Global Institute, 2015 Connected Devices → Smart Home? Necessary but not Sufficient.
  15. 15. 15 Usability Challenges Usability is a Barrier to Adoption and Market Growth. Unconnected Status Quo Connected Devices is this better? more usable? Source: Engaging the Digital Consumers In The New Connected World, Accenture, 2015
  16. 16. 16 Usability Capability & Experience connected devices smartphone as universal remote individual device control individual connected devices
  17. 17. 17 connected devices connected device hubs simple, reflexive actions programmed by consumer Usability Capability & Experience individual connected devices
  18. 18. 18 Consumers don’t have a great history of managing complexity…
  19. 19. 19 Usability Capability & Experience individual connected devices connected device hubs A home that just does the right thing… A Smart Home that is a robot!
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  22. 22. 22 A playground for AI Internal robot information Imaginery Multimodal sensory informatnon Whole house informatnon
  23. 23. Thank you Mario E. Munich, We’re Hiring!