Thursday, April 8, 2010

AND THE BURDEN OF HOUSE CHORES GOES TO...


The PR2 robot's towel-folding efforts are being hailed an important breakthrough in robotics - despite it taking the machine 25 minutes to do each one. Read more about the robot in the video here.

Related article on Telegraph.co.uk:

The good news is that PR2 does a great job folding towels. The bad news is that he takes 25 minutes to do each one. While housewives may feel distinctly unimpressed with the achievement, the machine's efforts are regarded as an important breakthrough in robotics.

Until now, robots have been designed to do complex but repetitive work, such as building cars on assembly lines, where everything they deal with are the same shape and size.

The struggle has been to build models that can understand how to handle object they have never seen before, and which have an unpredictable shape. After painstaking research, a team from the University of California, Berkeley, came up with a computer program to give PR2 the brains for the job.

In a test, he managed to sort out piles of towels of different sizes, colours and materials. A video posted on YouTube shows how meticulous he is. Because each towel takes around 1,478 seconds to process, the clip has been speeded up 50 times to make it watchable.

Read the whole article here.
(The article was suggested by Larry Ferlazzo.)

2 comments:

  1. Great news. If they can make a robot that cooks (and of course cleans up later) i'll be the happiest person in the world.. and I don't think I'll be the only one!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Of course you are right, but did you notice how long the robot takes to fold a towel? Imagine what happens when it comes to cooking and cleaning!!! But again you will not be the only person willing to wait... :)

    ReplyDelete

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