As robots get smarter, they’ll be pouring our coffee (and beer)


Humanoid robots. Useful in theory, not so much in practice. They’re kind of creepy, too. But if you’re desperate to have a silicon-powered helper pour your beer, have no fear — that day might be closer than you think.

Scientists are hard at work creating robots that are able to sense and predict human actions, which should make them better performing tasks and look more natural while doing so. Researchers at Cornell University have trained a robot to recognize objects in its line of sight, as well as certain human actions, and then assign probabilities to the next set of possible actions. The video below (ignore the campiness of it) shows the robot in action trying to refill a cup of coffee — it must recognize the book and coffee cup on a person’s desk, predict which one he’s going to pick up, predict him taking a drink, then predict…

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