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Connected Life

Posted in: Inside Shaspa, Smart Building, Smart Planet

16 12, 2012.

shaspa sketches2 Connected Life

A Simpler, greener, more connected life

Do you ever feel like you’re losing control? Do you get utility bills with seemingly random numbers – or maybe an-ever upward trend. And when you go to bed, do you have a long list of things to switch off (lights, TVs and heating) or switch on (burgler alarms, CCTV)? It’s as if you’re working for your house, not the other way round.

So, how does Shaspa help?

Imagine that you’ve got a domestic robot.
You want to give it instructions to make it wash the dishes, mow the lawn and to the ironing – but it doesn’t understand you. You don’t understand it either – all you see are flashing lights, and gestures that don’t make any sense. All you hear are bleeps, bloops and strange warbling noises. If you could make noises like that, you might be able to make the robot do something useful, but you never will. And you’ll never understand what it’s telling you.

What’s the answer? Make the robot speak and understand your language. English, Spanish, Mandarin or Russian – it doesn’t matter.

But if it won’t do that, then you need a translator, taking in all the robot’s strange attempts to communicate, and making them understandable, at the same time as taking your spoken commands and turning them into something the robot can make sense of.

This is even more important when you have several robots, all doing specialised things. You need one translator that works for all of them, because it understands all of their “native” machine languages.

Then, and only then, can you issue a command that they will ALL understand, giving them a chance to work cooperatively. Even better – they can talk to each other, through the translator, so they can work out the best way to collectively accomplish the tasks you’ve given them!

And then, when there are hundreds of highly specialised robots in a community, all doing the things they were designed to do best, you’ll be able to look at the combined efforts of all of them. And you can decide, with your neighbours, or colleagues, if you’re at work, how to optimise their work. Maybe you can use someone else’s robots while they’re not busy. Perhaps there’s one task that needs the strength of all of them; something you wouldn’t have thought about if it was just you, watching your robots.

Most of this sounds like science fiction. But with Shaspa playing the part of the translator, most of it isn’t. What we don’t have now is general purpose robots doing the housework and gardening. But what we do have is highly-specialised, interconnected “Robots” – smart meters, sensors and devices – that all speak different languages, and which could be so much more effective if we could instruct them in simple ways, and make them work together.

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