The developers claim a robot unveiled yesterday at the British Science Festival will be loading dishwashers next year.
Collaborators in the international PacMan project hope to achieve the ambitious goal by April 2015.
The University of Birmingham's Boris 2, a robot with giant blue arms and huge grasping hands, is one of the first robots capable of intelligently manipulating unfamiliar objects with a human-like grasp. He needs to choose the best of five different grasp types when approaching an objects.
Boris perceives objects with depth sensors on its face and wrists. In 10 seconds the techno-thing calculates a thousand possible ways to grasp a novel object with its five robotic fingers. Then, it plans a course of arm movements to reach its target, avoiding obstructions. Learning how to pick up is the hardest task.
Boris represents a third generation of robots.
The first generation included industrial robots that manipulate a precisely controlled world.
The second generation includes airborne drones, self-driving cars and other mobile robots that can move around in our world and share it with us, even though that world is uncertain and full of novelty.
The long term goal is to build robots capable of operating in human environments like offices, hospitals, warehouses. See full BBC article here.
Right. I'm off to tidy up, rinse and stack the dishes to prepare for washing. Each article is a different shape and texture and needs to be stored in a separate area when clean and dry. I'm not sure a robot could replace me, but I'd be willing to offer my kitchen for the sake of science.
Did you ever stop to think how skilled you are, even when performing everyday tasks? Hundreds of millions of years evolution led to you—a unique individual.