Domestic robots, also known as home or service robots, are essentially programmable computers integrated with electrically powered machines that perform household chores. They typically have some capacity for movement, either for moving themselves or manipulating objects, or both. Home robots differ from appliances (dishwashers, for example) or even internet-connected appliances in that they do all the work, as opposed to simply making a task easier. These labor-saving devices not only free people to do other things, but may also assist disabled or elderly people. See also: Computer; Computer programming; Control systems; Machine; Robotics
Robots for housework and yardwork have become available for cleaning windows, mowing lawns, clearing gutters, cleaning pools, and feeding pets, to name a few current uses. Mobile service or companion robots with cameras and speakers, which may or may not be remotely controlled, can interact with people, monitor homes for security, or be used to tell the dog to get off the couch. And last but not least, a significant number of home robots are toys. See also: Camera; Human-computer interaction; Remote-control system; Remote manipulators; Vacuum cleaner
Depending on its uses and design, a robot may contain sensors (cameras, microphones, accelerometers, etc.); tool parts that do the work (effectors); circuit boards and electronic components; software; wireless components and Wi-Fi microcontrollers; displays; speakers; LED lights; motors; gear boxes; belts for drives, wheels, and tracks; dust bins; pumps; batteries and power supplies; nuts, bolts, and screws; casings and covers; on/off switches; and so on. See also: Accelerometer; Battery; Bolt; Electric switch; Electronic display; Electronic power supply; Gear; Microphone; Motor; Nut (engineering); Printed circuit board; Programmable controllers; Pump; Screw; Software; Touch-screen display; Wireless fidelity (Wi-Fi); Wireless sensors
Because domestic robots are made of so many parts, they are often expensive to build. For example, a state-of-the art robotic vacuum cleaner sells for about U.S. $1000. But prices are dropping for key parts, such as microprocessors and wireless components, which will make these robots more affordable to develop and manufacture and perhaps more commonplace in homes.