Set in the year 2805, WALL-E sent the world in a wave of “aweee”s as movie goers came out of the theatres overwhelmed with gestures of the cute little bot. While WALL-E (short for Waste Allocation Load Lifter –Earth class) was conceptualized to sort out wastes on planet Earth while its irresponsible future inhabitants cruised around the world, little are we realising that slowly and surely, we are moving towards a future, quite alike the movie, WALL-E.
Take Google Cars for that matter. We are very open to the concept of driverless cars on the roads in a bid to reduce accidents, without realising that it is computer or a robot that will maneuver this vehicle. Yes, it is not the traditional Android bot that have been repeatedly enforced to think that robots are. Rather, this robot will sit inside the hood of your car, with its eyes on the roof and other sensors on the front and back, a navigation system that will let it decide its course and probably a voice modulated digital assistant that will communicate with you. While this seems like a massive accomplishment for artificial intelligence, similar systems (auto pilots) have been managing our aircrafts for decades now.
Another robot that will soon become common sighting is the TUG from Aethon. Developed specially for hospitals, the TUG robots are designed to handle everything that a helping hand in a hospital would do. From taking medicines to different floors, to dropping off samples in the lab or even delivering food to patients on time the TUG can handle it all. The robots come in different specifications, designed to handle specific tasks but more or less look just the same. The TUG robots even do the dirty work like cleaning out the trash or taking dirty linen to the laundry with equal ease. All you need to do is tell them where to head and leave them free to do their work, absolutely no monitoring required.
All TUGs are controlled through the command stations where you can list the different tasks you want the TUG to do. Once programmed just hit the go button and TUG will be on its way. With sensors that function as its eyes, TUG can gauge if it is about to collide with a human or a non-human and quickly take evasive action. It knows all routes within the hospital and can even call the elevator to travel to another floor. What is more, when low on battery, the TUG finds the nearest charging station to recharge itself before moving ahead. So, you need not bother to find these TUGs lying around somewhere one day. There is no doubt that the University of California San Francisco Medical Center ordered 25 such TUG bots to help them with their day to day activities.
You can watch the TUG in action in the video below and do let us know if you think that we are not moving towards a WALL- E future!