Cuisine Robots Make Sandwiches and Popcorn: New Best Friend?

Everyone loves a good sandwich. And who doesn't enjoy popcorn with a good movie? Of course, making the perfect sandwich can take up time that could be spent working or doing something more fascinating. This is why you need to get James and Rosie into your kitchen.

James and Rosie are two of 11 PR2 robots from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Willow Garage, and they're not disimilar to that Bakebot that we previously covered. Originally, the robots were limited to cooking pancakes and sausages (which is awesome in itself), but they're now capable of serving up a tasty sammich or stove popcorn too.

The beauty of the couple is that when you ask them to, say, make you popcorn, they are able to complete your command without needing any additional programming. For instance, while they wouldn't think to turn on the stove, they understand that popcorn needs the heat from a stove in order to cook. From there, James and Rosie can easily navigate how to work a stove to get the desired end result.

The aim of the robots was to lessen how many instructions we humans have to input; this could eventually lead to more intelligent robots that are able to undertake a command in the routine way that a human does. PR2 robots are the perfect beta for TUM to test the theory and programming on thanks to their chassis, 16 CPUs, sensors, and open-source ROS robotics framework. The ROS framework makes controlling the way a robot processes a command more flexible, hence the improvements to James and Rosie.

Check out the video below to see James and Rosie cooking up a storm in the kitchen:

[IEEE Spectrum via PhysOrg]

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