According to a recent survey on robots conducted by JR Tokai Express Research Inc and reported on by japan.internet.com, domestic robots are broadly welcomed, but there is strong reluctance towards letting robots help out with the softer skills.
One the 4th of September 2007 331 members of the JR Tokai Express Research online monitor panel employed in the public and private sectors answered a private internet-based questionnaire. 77.3% of the sample was male, 12.7% in their twenties, 38.7% in their thirties, 33.8% in their forties, 13.9% in their fifties, and 0.9% in their sixties.
A Roomba might be nice around our living room to occassionally scoot around and pick up fluff and crumbs from under the sofa and the table, although I don’t really see it as a substitute for my weekly hoovering, just something that makes my job a bit easier on Sunday mornings. I don’t really see how a clothes washing robot could be effectively made; tasks like hanging out the washing, for instance, are rather intricate, and going around the house picking up dirty clothes is a nice image but impractical given the current state of the art in robotics.
Q1: If there were “Robotic Domestic Appliances” to help around the house, would you want to try them out? (Sample size=331)
Yes (to SQs) 72.2% No 12.1% Don’t know 15.7%
Q1SQ1: What kinds of robotic domestic appliances would you like to get help from? (Sample size=239, multiple answer)
Votes Percentage Cleaning 223 93.3% Home protection 164 68.6% Washing clothes 146 61.1% Cooking, other kitchen tasks 86 36.0% Gardening 77 32.2% Parent nursing 73 30.5% Shopping 32 12.4% Child-minding 19 7.9% Other 9 3.8%
Q1SQ2: What kinds of robotic domestic appliances would you not like to get help from? (Sample size=239, multiple answer)
Votes Percentage Child-minding 162 67.8% Parent nursing 70 29.3% Cooking, other kitchen tasks 62 25.9% Shopping 51 21.3% Washing clothes 12 5.0% Gardening 8 3.3% Home protection 8 3.3% Cleaning 7 2.9% None in particular 41 17.2% Other 0 0.0%