The future is now! Just a decade ago, most machines and devices were both clunky and manually operated. Take computers for instance. Many early models were desktop-bound and exorbitantly expensive. Fast forward today, we are literally swamped with laptops, tablets and smartphones of all shapes and sizes.
A new generation of wearable devices, such as smart watches, is also poised to transform the world. Capable of functioning autonomously behind the scene, these products can not only help us manage our increasingly hectic lifestyle, but also monitor our health – disrupting the ways we work and play.
The best has yet to come as well. Connected and smarter, many of these innovative devices feature Internet connectivity and a battery of sensors, enabling increasingly seamless machine-to-machine and machine-to-human interactions – unleashing infinite possibilities, products and services. Moley Robotics’ robo-chef and Omron’s Ping Pong Bot are two prime examples.
Fancy your very own master chef? It will soon be a reality with the futuristic Robotic Kitchen, which is due to launch next year. Equipped with a pair of fully articulated robotic arms, the system is able to whip up gourmet meals instantly, all thanks to its integrated 3D recipe recording function. With this feature, the robo-chef can observe and learn to create new dishes, each recorded as a 3D recipe that can be downloaded and expertly executed anytime and anywhere.
Omron Ping Pong Bot
Omron brought table tennis to the 21st century with Forpheus. A first of its kind developed to sustain a ping pong game with a child or adult. Not only can the bot recognize its opponents, it can also track the player’s paddle to analyze and predict the trajectory of the ball. What’s more? This is performed real-time in 3D and at extremely high speed – 1 over 1,000 of a second – to ensure that Forpheus will always return the ball in a way easy for its opponent to hit.
We can also push the boundaries by thinking out of the box – like the retrofitting of existing devices with up-to-date electronic components to create interesting applications, as demonstrated by the LG Hom-Bot Turbo+ and Lily.
LG Hom-Bot Turbo+
Unlike regular robotic vacuum cleaners, the LG Home-Bot Turbo+ can also double as your security guard and janitor. Equipped with three onboard cameras and motion sensors, this bot will send still image automatically to the users’ phone if it detects movement when nobody is home. Another cool function is augmented reality. This lets you conveniently select where to clean, by simply snapping a shot of an area with your phone, turning a mundane chore fun and interactive.
Dubbed the world’s first throw-and-shoot camera and selfie drone, Lily takes drones to a whole new level with a slew of nifty capabilities. Firstly, Lily is fully autonomous. It tracks and follows users via a homing device. An inbuilt camera also transforms Lily into a personal videographer, which is capable of taking amazing clips complete with slow-motion effects. Just throw this waterproof drone into the air to launch. It will even soft land in your palm when the battery is running low.
The incredible convenience and new opportunities aside, all these automations wouldn’t have been possible without the hardware under the hood – the electronic components, ranging from switches and connectors to advanced micro-sensing devices and image-sensing components, that are found in every modern gadget and appliance.
“The world would come to a standstill without electronic components, which drive your phone, TV and just about all imaginable devices, each containing anything from tens to thousands of these little parts,” said James Teo, General Manager, Omron Electronic Components Pte Ltd.
Pure possibility through automation
More crucially, the possibility of automation is endless. Future self-driving vehicles, smarter homes and offices all have the potential to enrich life, bringing more happiness, beauty and friendship to our society. At Omron, our vision is to create a world of “pure possibility”, leveraging the power of automation and cutting-edge electronic components. All it takes is just ingenuity and an inquisitive mind to create the next “big thing” that will reshape the world.
Can automation create happiness?