Helper Robots We Desperately Need: the HRP-2 Dishbot | Popular Science
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Helper Robots We Desperately Need: the HRP-2 Dishbot

Yes, we've lived in the era of the dishwasher for some time. But for the toughest, greasiest pans, call in the Dishbot

Dishbot

Care for a drink?

Erico Guizzo/University of Tokyo's Jouhou System Kougaku Laboratory, via IEEE Spectrum

For now, mechanized household servants are pretty much limited to floor-cleaners -- though they do hold a special place in our hearts.

But what if a robot, after a long dinner party, could bus the table and head to the sink? Now there's a relationship we can build on. Japan's HRP-2 humanoid 'bot, pictured here, has learned to do just that.

Researchers at the University of Tokyo's Jouhou System Kougaku Laboratory have used human motion-capture and video game simulations to teach HRP-2 how to handle different types of dishware. They also had to develop waterproof robot gloves.

The researchers are also working with 3-D sensors to help the robots "see" their surroundings so they can move freely.

Along with washing dishes, the HRP-2 also cleans the floor, but with a regular, old-fashioned hose vacuum, as you can see in this adorable montage:

Your New Kitchen Helper

This humanoid robot vacuums, sweeps and washes the dishes.

Jouhou System Kougaku Laboratory, University of Tokyo

I hope it gets along with the laundry-folding robot.

IEEE Spectrum

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