The Morning After Robot

Posted 17 Dec 2005 at 14:49 UTC by The Swirling Brain Share This

There's not much to this USA Today article, but it notes that perhaps in 2010 you might get a Morning After Bot that will clean your house after a party. It appears that the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab at Stanford University is working on a robot that can take a picture of your room and then after a party try to put back the room by recreating the look of the original picture. The robot would go around the room picking up bottles and whatnot and compare the pictures it takes to see if the room's back to pristine shape. It looks like total vaporware since I couldn't find anything more on this topic than repeats of the original article but if it's truly in the works, the robot sounds pretty cool! I could use one at my house if only I could find a picture from decades before my house got all messy.

With so little information on this robot I'm not sure if the morning after bot is really to make want to protest RU-386 abortion pills or to make you break out in the most popular song from the The Poseidon Adventure, "There's got to be a morning after!"

A couple duplicate articles...

Straightening Up, posted 17 Dec 2005 at 19:44 UTC by campp1 » (Master)

I see the quote is from "Sebastian Thrun". He headed Stanford's DARPA Challenge entry and I suppose this "Morning After 'Bot" (sounds like it was developed by college students) uses the new vision algorithm mentioned recently.

I've thought some about a robot that "straightens things up". It would be a great application. Things belong in particular places and when something is "out of place" the robot simply needs to recognize this and learn where to put it... non-trivial to say the least however it could be reinforced through training. That is... when master <Mwa- ha...> comes home the unfamiliar "something" that was "out of place" gets pointed out. At which point master could train the robot where said item should be located. Thereafter whenever the robot ran into familiar items (glasses, keys, wallets...) it would know where to put it. I can see where this might cause great confusion. :-/ It also seems a more reasonable goal would be general daily maintenance rather then after party massive cleanup.

TidyBots, posted 17 Dec 2005 at 20:50 UTC by steve » (Master)

I've been telling my wife for years that a killer app for small, autonomous mobile robots would be TidyBots. What I was thinking of was not so much tidying up around the house but picking up trash outdoors. There's always lots of trash lying around sidewalks and the shoulders of highways. A fair amount money seems to be expended on paying humans to walk around picking up trash by hand. So why not design a TidyBot that could autonomously wander the shoulders of the highway picking up trash and storing it in an internal trash bag that could periodically be emptied? Some types of trash would be hard to distinguish from the natural environment but many types of common trash would be easy. Artificial shapes like bottles and cans would be relatively easy to pick out.

Another variation on that idea might be a Roomba on a giant scale. Here in the Deep Ellum area of downtown Dallas, there are strange little vehicles that look sort of like riding lawn mowers. They have human drivers and each one has a huge vacuum with a hose about 10" in diameter that comes out the back, loops over the top, and sticks out in front like some sort of Dr. Seuss creation (they look kinda like this). These little riding vacuum cleaners drive up and down the streets some mornings sucking up all the beer bottles in front of the dance clubs. I wonder how hard it would be to automate one of them?

Heh, posted 18 Dec 2005 at 23:18 UTC by while_true » (Observer)

Sounds a bit like something that lives in a uterus. Heh.

Cluttered, unstructured environments are hard.

At best, by 2010, a bot could possibly put everything on the floor into a single bin, probably with breaking things. Let me put a caveat, that this is what a consumer priced bot will do.

An advanced humanoid should be able to do your dishes by then.

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