We don't yet live above the clouds in buildings propped up on stilts ,
or putt-putt in little flying bubble pods; but we're that much closer to
living la vida Jetsons thanks to the robotic whiz kids at the Technical
University of Munich.
They have designed two robots that can pop you some popcorn or make you a
salami sandwich. One is named James, and the other is called, quite
Last week the roboticists released a YouTube video of their achievement,
showing the two automatons performing exactly these tasks. It's
impressive considering their moves are not programmed–the robots
navigate independently through the kitchen to grab slices of bread,
locate bowls, and figure out how to do everything from scratch.
There are still a few hiccups though. When it came to applying the mayo
onto the bread, the robot starts out in a stabbing motion, jabbing the
spoon repeatedly into the slice before figuring out that it must sweep
the utensil side-to-side to spread the sauce.
So we're not quite at the point where we can snap our fingers and ask
our home droids to prepare a candlelit dinner for two. It might require
millions more in grant money and probably a few years to get
anywhere close. In fact, it actually takes the patience of a, well,
robot to sit through the full 15 minute video the team has uploaded
(there's other peppier videos of them making pancakes and sausage). It
takes that long (and perhaps longer due to the fact that the video is
fast-forwarded) for the robots to make the sandwich and the popcorn. But
man, I can't wait to be even lazier than I already am.