The roboticists at Willow Garage, like the rest of us this summer, are thirsty. But they have the quick-learning PR2 bot to help out. Having mastered other handy tasks, like folding laundry and playing pool, the robot has now learned to fetch beer for its masters.
When the need strikes, a thirsty human simply has to open a web interface, choose his or her preferred brew, and click the "Beer Me" button. The PR2 opens the refrigerator and scans its contents using image recognition software; retrieves a bottle of the correct kind; and brings it to the human. It can optionally open the bottle as well.
"They're basically just trying to make someone to hang out with on Saturday nights," opines PopSci contributor Clay.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.