Robots have come such a long way in recent years, it seems like it won’t be long before they’re helping out in every household. The idea of having a helper around is pretty intriguing, but we don’t want then to always do the same thing, like a dishwasher or a toaster; we want something smarter, far more helpful and talented. While robots have long been doing things that humans can do by following a set of strictly defined programs, it hasn’t been until recently that they began doing tasks using their own senses and choices.
Enter the duo of mechanical chefs, James and Rosie, of the Technical University of Munich. These two robots have recently learned how to make a sandwich… the classic go-to of keeping a family well fed. None of the steps they preform are pre-programmed, but rather they use senses gained by using pieces from an Xbox Kinect. In the video below, where the robots prepare both popcorn and a sandwich, none of the steps follow a strict procedure: the bots know what steps go into making the items – like turning on the stove for making popcorn – and go about doing what is required. It’s fascinating to watch the two break down complex actions, perform them in order and produce an almost (but not quite) perfect result.
For the computer obsessed, be sure to catch the command line joke at 0:47 seconds.