With the many advances in robotic technology over the course of the last few years, it seems it is only a matter of time before Cyberdine makes us all its unwitting victims. Still, the newest robot couldn’t possibly be that bad if it invokes memories of Grandma right?
There can be no doubt that recent robotic advancements have been geared towards trying to make our lives easier. One new development in the robotic field has created little robots that are designed to go into burning buildings and send back images to better help firefighters get where they need to go most. Another robot is simply supposed to help your day to day life serving as your personal android.
While both of those robots are certainly cool enough, they pale in comparison to what researchers at MIT have managed to come up with. The PR2 robot looks a little bit like a reject from the “Short Circuit” movies, like what Johnny 5 looked like before they shined him up, but the PR2 can’t deliver one liners or proclaim himself alive. What it can do is whip up a nice batch of chocolate chip cookies all by itself. Mario Bollini created the PR2 and while the project was originally just supposed to be introductory level, the grad student now says he didn’t realize the delicacy of instructing a robot to do a task like this.
The level of programming the PR2 is quite impressive. Bollini has incorporated laser sensor technology as well as a stereo camera in order to teach PR2 how to recognize different shapes and colors of the ingredients and the tools needed in order to put together the cookies. Once it has identified all the ingredients needed to make the perfect cookies, the PR2 uses a hard code in order to carry out the instructions including mixing the proportions and scraping the mix onto a cookie sheet and preparing it for the oven. The next step for the PR2 is for a team of undergraduate students at MIT to program the robot to actually clean up after itself once the cookies are in the oven. The machine is expected to be a fully operational cookie baker by the end of July. Then onto world domination?