A Fully Automated Home

Our homes are becoming more automated all the time. It began about a hundred years ago, when electricity and modern plumbing came inside our homes for the first time. The first use of electricity inside our home was often just a single light bulb hanging from a cord in the middle of the room. And the big significance of indoor plumbing was not having to go outside to use the toilet in lousy weather or darkness. Then the use of electricity grew until it’s everywhere in our homes and it powers many items and serves many functions. Access to water has gone through the same growth curve. We want water in many locations inside our homes and for many functions.

Control of the utilities was the next step. We went from simple light switches to variable rheostats to remote controls that can change intensity and color and more. Remote controls became commonplace first with television but are now spreading to every device and they are becoming connected to each other. Many of our devices are beginning to respond to voice control.

Someday soon, we’ll arrive home being driven by an automated car which announces our arrival to our home. The home will turn on lights, adjust environmental settings to our preferences, and unlock doors to greet us. As we walk into the home, our identity will be confirmed and noted and lights and media settings will follow us around the home. Messages will be announced, status reports made available and any preset conditions will be met, such as: dinner being prepared, a glass filled with a desired drink at a desired temperature, and media channels made available on any nearby display surface.

A powered chair will rise to seat us and then recline to our favorite resting position and offer to substitute more comfortable house slippers for our street shoes. The chair can also offer heat and massage therapy. On command, a viewing screen will provide a menu of messages, status reports, news and entertainment for selection. When the microwave oven is finished preparing our meal, a mobile robot will serve it along with any utensils and side dishes needed. The robot will serve like a personal valet/butler and wait to take away dirty dishes or fetch any needed objects. Sensors will note our presence and movements through the home and lighting and other environmental settings will be updated accordingly.

Automation in the home will update inventory or groceries and household supplies as they are used and place orders for replacements. When they are delivered by drone, a mobile robot will retrieve the supplies and store them. An automated 3D fabrication printer will make objects when they are needed. It won’t be long until a household appliance will sense a broken component, report it to the home control center, which will then order a replacement printed so the mobile robot can accomplish the repair.

Here are some of the areas for automation in our homes:

  • Security monitoring and access control
  • Lighting – on/off proximity control, intensity, color
  • Plumbing – on/off proximity control, temperature, volume
  • Environmental – temperature, humidity, fresh air circulation
  • Cleaning – floors, counters, windows, dusting
  • Garbage – sorting, shredding, recyling
  • Robots – moving things around
  • Appliances:
    • Computer/Communications/Multimedia
    • Kitchen – oven/stove, fridge, dishwasher, more…
    • Bathroom – shower, sink/faucet, bidet
    • Laundry – settings adjustment, folding

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