Now your Maid will obey all your orders and will serve you all the time


Written on Friday, July 18, 2008 by Gemini

Those who have watched The Jetsons cartoon show might remember Rosie, the robotic kitchen maid. Now, scientists are working towards making her a reality

In a new project, German scientists are providing a glimpse into the kitchen of the future; complete with a new robot that can keep track of the contents of the larder, and learn simple tasks. Their automaton, they say, could soon be making your dinner while you relax! According to the researchers at the Technical University of Munich, who are involved in the ‘Assistive Kitchen’ project, the B21 robot exploits the use of radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags on dishes and utensils to avoid some of the object-recognition difficulties that have plagued previous household robots.

“If you want to interpret and understand everyday activities using vision data, it’s very complicated, error-prone, and resource intensive. But if you do the same with RFID tags, there is very little sensor information, but it’s highly correlated with the activities you are performing,” lead researcher Michael Beetz said.

The researchers say that not only does their robot know where everything is, but it can also learn simple tasks simply by observing the movements of the objects. Setting the table is very easily recognised from cups and plates disappearing from the cupboard and appearing on the table – and cleaning up later is characterised by the same objects disappearing from the table and appearing in the dishwasher. Robots would even search Web sites and use language software that convert natural language into robot-friendly instructions.

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