Thursday, October 6, 2016

This robot do laundry or get you a beer; Our dream is one step closer to reality.

This robot can be programmed to fold your laundry or get you a beer

One of the biggest challenges with programming a robot to work with laundry is that clothing 

and towels are “deformable objects.” Unlike a bolt or bottle, a shirt’s shape looks different 

based on whether it’s scrunched up on the floor or hanging in a closet. “The challenges 

posed by robotic towel-folding reflect important challenges inherent in robotic perception

 and manipulation for deformable objects,” Assistant Professor Pieter Abbeel tells UC 

Berkley News Center.

Unfortunately, the PR2 can’t quite differentiate between a clean, rumpled shirt lying on the 

floor and a dirty, rumpled shirt lying on the floor. Besides, the robot isn’t flexible enough to 

reach the floor. Because of its limited range and vision, PR2 can’t reach into the machine to 

take the clothes out. But enough about what the robot can’t do. As you can see in the video, 

the robot has no problem putting clothes into a basket and transferring them to the washer. 

Once everything’s out of the dryer, the bot can fold and hang the laundered items.

The PR2 isn’t limited to laundry, though. Willow Garage engineers have programmed robots that

deliver beer and play pool. Those bots know how to party!

With that hefty price tag and PR2’s limitations, it’s not like we expect Santa to deliver a domesticated robot this year. Is Christmas 2020 too soon to hope for?

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