In this week’s Littlefish Loves, meet the Robobarista – the robot that knows how to make the perfect cup of coffee (and won’t get confused if you get a new coffee machine).
The coffee-making robot was created at Cornell University’s Robot Learning Lab, and is a Willow Garage PR2 with the ability to learn how follow instructions in a similar way to humans – and crucially, to adapt its knowledge to different situations. That means it doesn’t have to be programmed for every machine you want it to use. Instead, it’ll use its initiative (or something like that) to figure out how to use similar but slightly different machines for itself.
So far, the Robobarista has been put to the test on 116 different appliances including juice makers, lamps, bathroom sinks and a soda machine in addition to several different coffee machines. So far, it has a 60% success rate in figuring out how to operate a new machine it has never encountered before (so it’s probably doing better than some humans…)
When faced with a new machine, the robot consults a digital instruction manual and compares the machine to previous experiences to find similarities in the controls. It “sees” the machine through a 3D camera and uses its memory feed to locate the specific control and its database of experiences to decide how to use it. Creepy and cool all at the same time.
We wonder how it would do with some of our trading systems…
The Robobarista is currently still in the crowd-funded test phase. If you want one to make your morning coffee for you, get involved by teaching the Robobarista here – or watch it in action:
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