Smart homes and smart home robots are the wave of the future. Every aspect of a standard home has the potential to get smarter, whether it’s with cameras or voice activation. It’s time for all of us to take full advantage of what this world of technological innovation has to offer.
Robots are being used as teaching assistants, crop harvesters and medical practitioners. They make tasks easier, faster and more accurate through their dependable technology and infinite capacity to work.
Whether you’re a fan of robots or not, they are becoming more and more implemented into society at large and individual homes through the continuous discovery of ways to make our homes “smarter.” They’re not replacing humans, more complementing our way of life by taking on rudimentary tasks, freeing us up to spend more time doing what we actually want to do.
Hate to vacuum? There’s a robot for that. Want to know who’s at the door without getting up? Yup, a smart device can help with that too. There are a bunch of bots worth highlighting, and they all tackle a different task. Try a few out or gather the whole arsenal and turn your apartment, condo or home into a well-oiled technological machine at the touch of a button.
1. Echo Studio High-Fidelity Smart Speaker
The Echo smart speaker was already at the head of the list before Amazo unveiled the Studio, but the sound-quality upgrade on this new speaker has to be heard to be believed. The built-in Dolby Atmos technology gives the Echo Studio a full multidimensional sound, with studio-quality sound no matter where you stand in the room. And it would not be an Amazon smart speaker if it did not easily stream any and every music service you can think of, from Apple Music to Spotify to (of course) Amazon Music. The basic Echo Studio is briefly out of stock, but for an extra $30 you can buy the Billie Eilish Limited Edition Echo Studio right now.
2. Nest Learning Thermostat
Does your family endlessly fight over the temperature in the house? Can’t agree with your partner on an appropriate degree setting? Temperature is one of the more divisive issues in any given household, and for good reason. Google’s Nest Thermostat learns your temperature preferences (no matter how many) and automatically adjusts your home environment based on them. Let your Nest find a happy middle ground and keep you there automatically. You can set it on a timer or place it on eco-mode to save money and the environment. Connect it to your WiFi and change the temperature using your phone, tablet, or laptop easily, from anywhere. The Nest works with 95% of 24-volt heating and cooling systems, and it’s even got energy-saving modes to help you be more environmentally conscious. It’ll also automatically turn itself down when you’re not home, saving you big bucks on your energy bill.
3. iRobot Roomba 694 Robot Vacuum
Like the Amazon Echo, the iRobot Roomba was the standard-bearer and trendsetter in its class long before its most recent improved models hit the market. The Roomba 694 keeps the winning streak alive — Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility and an intuitive easy-to-learn smartphone app are among its better features but hardly the only ones worth bragging on. The Roomba 694 learns your cleaning habits and then creates a customized cleaning schedule based on them, with extra cleaning suggested during pollen and pet-shedding seasons. It works equally well on hard floors and carpets, and the 90-minute run time is outstanding, after which it will automatically send itself back to its charging base for a refresher.
4. Ring HD Video Doorbell (2020)
The Ring HD Video Doorbell remains the bane of package pirates and unwanted solicitors alike. The latest iteration of the Ring has 1080p HD video to give you a clear view of whoever has come knocking, and crystal clear audio for you to hear them introduce themselves and also for you to tell them to go away. The new version has improved motion detection, privacy zones, and clearer night vision. It pairs with selected Alexa-enable devices so you can answer the door from anywhere, even if you don’t have your smartphone handy. Easy to install, easy to operate, the Ring is still the intelligent doorman you never thought you needed and now can’t live without.
5. Worx WR165 Landroid Robotic Lawn Mower
Mowing your lawn is something you’ve got to do consistently, and it’s pretty much always a time suck. Not anymore — this robotic lawn mower learns your property and automatically suggests a schedule based on your lawn size. The Worx WR165 isn’t your go-to machine if you have a large yard — that’s still on you, pal — but if you’re dealing with an eighth of an acre or smaller, this little guy is a reliable mower for you. The WR165 runs 50% longer, is 25% more powerful, and has a 10% longer life than the older WR140 model — which we loved — yet costs just about the same.
6. Kasa Smart Plug
Using this smart plug device from Kasa is like playing God in your own home — you control the light. Turn electronics on and off from anywhere using your smartphone, and save money on your electric bill.
Want your lights to turn on or off at night automatically? You can schedule your home’s electronics with Kasa’s scheduling feature, and it’s compatible with Amazon Alexa, so it’s all just a voice command away.
7. Google Nest Audio Smart Speaker
Take a half-step down from the Echo Studio, and you’ll be comfortably paired with Google’s Nest Audio Smart Speaker, which also responds to simple voice commands to play music from your favorite streaming service. One of the features we really like about the Nest Audio is the privacy feature which allows you to delete your Assistant history by saying, “Hey Google, delete what I just said,” and also lets you turn off the mic with a simple switch on the back. It also delivers high-quality sound from a small, 2.64-pound package.
8. Toshiba 43-Inch Smart Fire TV
We love the interface of the Toshiba Fire TVs because you can move so quickly from over-the-air TV or whichever cable or satellite service you use to the many streaming channels you can access from this great set. The setup is effortless, so you’ll be up and running within minutes of unboxing. The 1080p full HD picture is outstanding, especially at this price point — Amazon has recently marked this great set down to $249.99.