Whether you like it or not, the robots are coming.
Hollywood has taught us that can only mean one thing: we'll soon be facing a mechanical uprising that'll destroy life as we know it. Right now though, it's hard to view our clunky creations as anything other than cute companions, designed to make life that little bit easier.
Sure, maybe one day they'll get fed up of doing the dishes (who wouldn't?) and overthrow us all, but for now it looks like they're here to help. Here are five quirky bots that might be making an appearance in your home sooner rather than later.
You're halfway through your favourite movie, but you've left your snacks in the fridge. What do you do? Hit pause and begin the perilous journey across your living room? Maybe, but that was before the Aeolus robot helper scooted into your life.
Designed to handle those little chores so you can focus more on what matters to you, Aeolus can get dinner started, put the dishes away, tidy your room, whip up some hot coffee, vacuum, mop… the list goes on and on. Constantly learning thanks to smart AI technology, the Aeolus will mould itself into your ideal automated assistant. Superb.
2. Ubtech Walker
Another rather handy helper, the Ubtech Walker is the world's first commercialised biped robot - which basically means it can stomp around the house on its two legs. Created to be a home and office assistant, the Walker packs a range of interactive features such as smart home control, video surveillance monitoring, and calendar/schedule management.
While it's generally pitched as a "complete home butler," it sounds like the Walker could become so much more: an office security guard, an all-singing all-dancing robo-nanny, or even the world's most expensive alarm clock. Oh, and if you thought two legs were impressive, you'll be delighted to hear Ubtech intends to expand the Walker's functionality by adding a couple of arms. Talk about a handyman.
Imagine if your Amazon Echo had a face. Now imagine that face is the cutest thing on planet earth. That's Jibo, the minimalist social robot that's less of an appliance and more of a smooth-talking best friend. Powered by face and voice recognition technology, Jibo remembers everyone he meets and forms individual relationships. He's also quite the mover, with a 3-axis motor system giving him the ability to dance and spin on the spot while he speaks.
It's those little touches, like his splashes of spontaneity, that make it feel like Jibo actually exists. Sure, it can tell you what the weather is going to be like tomorrow, or where the nearest coffee shop is. But he'll also greet you when you walk in the door, and chuck out playful emojis and winks from time to time. Now, I'm not saying you don't have a great relationship with your Google Home, but when was the last time it did that?
A friendly companion that bustles about the house with a smile on its face, Buddy is a squeaky-clean machine built to improve your everyday life. Whether that's by offering assistance in the kitchen, helping your kids learn through play, or answering your phone while you're busy elsewhere, your three-wheeled friend will be there whenever you need a helping hand.
While that's great, what really makes Buddy stand out from the crowd is the fact that he's an open source machine. That means developers from around the world can build new applications and accessories for Buddy, making him one of the most customisable bots on the market. If you can dream it, somebody out there is probably trying to make it happen.
5. CareOS smart bathroom hub
Okay, so I guess this one technically isn't a robot, but the notion of a sci-fi mirror that talks back to us was too cool to ignore. The CareOS smart bathroom hub is the HAL 9000 of home automation — except unlike 2001's pesky AI, this robust reflector won't leave you stranded in the vacuum of space.
Taking the form of a smart mirror, the CareOS system also links to other devices like toothbrushes and scales to create a comprehensive health and wellbeing hub. The mirror itself is controlled with hand gestures and voice commands (you don't want to get fingerprints all over that squeaky-clean surface) and brings together a whole smorgasbord of useful info.
You can scan products for health tips and beauty tutorials, encourage the littluns to brush their teeth with augmented reality cartoons, and even track the evolution of rogue beauty spots using built-in skin analysis software. It's a stunning concept, and one that perfectly showcases the robot-packed future that's on the horizon.
Chris Kerr is a blogger with an interest in all things tech. From gadgets to gaming, he is always on the look-out for the next big thing. When not testing the latest FPS or RPG, he can be found watching Sean Bean films and contributing to publications including Gamasutra, Stuff and IB Times. Find out more here.