Rosie of "The Jetsons" for hire: 70% of Americans would trust a robot to do household chores

A new report reveals most Americans embrace the idea of domestic robots.

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There's not a chore-bound child, teen, or adult who hasn't wished for a robot to take on the tedium of household maintenance. Laundry? Mopping? Vacuuming? Dishes? Draining the dishes? Drying the dishes? Yes, please. And yes, yes, yes, yes. In fact, a recent survey of 2,000 Americans found that 70% polled would be "happy to trust a robot to do all of their chores," and a further 73% are convinced their homes would be cleaner if a robot completed at-home duties.

The study, conducted by OnePoll for Roborock (a Beijing-based high-end, robotic floor-cleaner company), found people are ready to embrace "a robotic revolution in their domestic worlds," and are excited by the potential to come.

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Wishing for an easier-life with robots has long been depicted on the big and small screen. But none captured the spirit of robots-as-household-help, as the television classic, "The Jetsons," from animation legends Hanna Barbera. Despite the series' scant original run of six months from 1962 to 1993 "The Jetsons" continued to air on TV for decades. It was unceremoniously revived from 1985 to 1987, but George, Jane his wife, daughter Judy, and his boy Elroy were firmly seared into 1960s' pop iconography. 

Now, the idea for a real-life "Rosie," the Jetson family's XB-500 robot/maid/housekeeper could become a reality, and many people are excited about it. 

"Home robots, including everything from  robot vacuums  to window washers to dishwashers and more can tackle domestic chores better than most people," noted the Roborock release. "They are built for the task, work regularly, never get bored and they don't stop till the job is done."

A robot is ideal for the drudge of housework, but people are more reluctant, and even unwilling to let a robot handle things they believe should be reserved for an actual human touch; 42% said they would never let a robot change a baby's diaper, two in five would not let a robot make dinner, and 35% wouldn't want a robot picking up after their dog or driving their kids to school.

For suitable, but despicable tasks, 30% of respondents admit they loathe vacuuming and would be happy for a robot to take over. Other chores people hate include washing the car (46%), raking leaves (44%), folding and putting away laundry and mowing the lawn (both 43%).

TV continues to be not only inspirational, but aspirational, as 48% surveyed said they want to live in the home in the series "Smart House," which features a maternal holographic assistant. Other popular screen homes include the Rube-Goldberg filled house (38%) in the British, stop-motion clay-animation "Wallace & Gromit," the self-making beds home  (37%)
of Luc Besson's 1997 sci-fi fantasy "The Fifth Element," and the high-tech security house (37%) in the dystopian horror film, the first in the franchise, 2013's "The Purge."

Tech toys also struck the respondents' fancy, 44% would love to ride a hoverboard about town, like Marty McFly's in 1985's "Back to the Future," and the same percent would love to wield a lightsaber from 1977's classic "Star Wars."

Top 10 tasks people would not let a robot do 

  1. Change a diaper                               
  2. Make dinner                                   
  3. Pick up after the dog                        
  4. Drive kids to school/activities     
  5. Clean the bathroom                          
  6. Fold clothes                                      
  7. Make beds                                        
  8. Clean the fridge                                
  9. Clean over                                         
  10. Wash dishes                                    

Top fictional houses in which people would like to live

1. Smart House (48%)          
2. Wallace + Gromit (39%)     
3. The Fifth Element (37%)    
4. The Purge  (37%)               
5. The Jetsons   (33%)         

Also see

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