Tea Serving Robots

Posted 5 Mar 2007 at 17:21 UTC by steve Share This

From the swirling web browser of The Swirling Brain comes a link to a CNN article about Japanese tea serving robots. Japanese robotics researcher, still intent on producing robots that can care for the elderly, are exploring how well they can make robots perform common tasks such as serving tea and washing dishes. In this experiment, a Kawanda Industries biped humanoid robot poured the tea, which was then delivered to humans in another room by a second, wheeled robot. This work is being done by Tomomasa Sato of the Intelligent Cooperative Systems Lab at the University of Tokyo.

Fancy a brew?, posted 6 Mar 2007 at 15:49 UTC by motters » (Master)

Are there any videos of this? If the robot can locate an arbitrarily placed cup and kettle, pick up the kettle and pour water without spilling, then pick up and deliver the cup I'd be really impressed. Skills like these, although ridiculously easy for us, and requiring almost no conscious effort, are notoriously difficult robotics problems requiring all kinds of sensory and perception skills.

More Japanese PR BS, posted 7 Mar 2007 at 15:49 UTC by dpa » (Master)

Have you read the article? To wit:

"On the bright side, the tea-pouring humanoid has been programmed to do the dishes."

That is considerably more difficult task than "locate an arbitrarily placed cup and kettle, pick up the kettle and pour water without spilling, then pick up and deliver the cup." which, as motters points out, would be pretty impressive itself. No documentation, no proof, no videos, no peer reviewed papers. Just the claim, tacked onto the end of the article, almost as an after thought, "Oh yeah, it can also wash the dishes." Seems to lack a certain ring of truthiness which give pause about the rest of the claims in the article.

Truthiness, posted 7 Mar 2007 at 16:36 UTC by steve » (Master)

The source of the article is CNN - I wouldn't take anything in it too seriously. That's why I posted it in the "entertainment" category. Same category as the Weekly World News story we posted a while back that included photos proving Dick Cheney was a robot. Sadly the Cheney robot was flawed because it could not learn from experience and was unable to experience emotion. I think he was able to serve tea though. :)

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