The Beerbot

One day, robots will rise up and exterminate all humanity, but until then, they can get us beer from the fridge. Just for fun (either that or to heap additional indignity), the robotics wizards at Willow Garage have programmed their PR2 Beta Robot to be their personal butler:

The user experience begins with the Beer Me web application. In this web app, the user is presented with a menu of ice cold beers and ciders, and a pull-down menu specifying the office for delivery. Once the user hits the enticing Beer Me button, it's the robot's job to make the magic happen. The robot navigates to the fridge, identifies the door, and performs a handle detection to determine a precise grasping location to use for opening. The robot then grasps and pulls open the handle, and positions itself between the door and the fridge to make sure the door doesn't close.

The robot uses object recognition to determine which beers are in the rack, and will report back to the app if the user's selection is not available. Otherwise, it stocks the ordered beers into the foam holder, closes the door, and navigates to the indicated office.

Link - via The Internet Today

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