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January 11, 2021

Robots to the Rescue: Lots of people stepped up in 2020. Don’t forget about the non-humans.

  • , Education

They’re cold and metallic, a little bit awkward at times, and they don’t even have a beating heart. But in 2020, robots really saved our skin. 

Robots were an unsung hero of last year -- swooping in amidst a global pandemic to do the things nobody else could without even blinking an eye (mostly because they don’t have those). 

And just because robots are cold and metal-made doesn’t mean they didn’t put their figurative blood, sweat, and tears into the jobs they were given. 

Take the humble microwave. It usually sits alone for most of the day while the humans go to work or school, taking a well deserved break between breakfast and dinner. Not last year. Microwaves the world over were worked to the circuits, cranking out hot stuff, sustenance, and comfort 24/7. 

Or what about the roaming Roomba? In normal times, these little dirt suckers have it easy, cruising around the house without much to do other than scare the cat or dog. Last year, however, they worked overtime as we spilled our lunch while sneaking bites during Zoom calls and our dogs were forced off the couch under the watchful eye of work-from-home humans. 

2020 also gave rise to a newer generation of robots, which seized the moment to show the world what they were made of. Weighing in at 10 lbs of foam and plastic, delivery drones from Wing punched above their weight, ferrying everything from the essential -- toilet paper, toothpaste, diapers -- to the comforting -- library books, coffee, halloween candy. Closer to the ground, Wall-E-looking robots from Starship were ready to serve anytime and anywhere, making local food and package deliveries in 20 cities. 

Then there were the more fictional robots. Where would the world be without the egg-shaped, floating crib that snapped shut to keep baby Yoda safe from all those menacing creatures? Thank you, egg-crib-- you did us all a solid. 

After a doozy of a year, we want to thank all the metallic critters big and small that helped us through it. Join us by sharing your robot stories on social media -- show us the bots that saved your day; share a picture of you high-fiving your favorite robot; or find another way to say thanks to your non-human helper. However you do it, be sure to use the hashtag #ThankARobot.