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© cornell university General | April 29, 2015

My new favourite colleague – Robobarista

We all have that one colleague who could be a bit more helping, mine is sitting next to me, closest to the coffee machine. And in my mind, since he is closest to it, he's the barista. Well he's soon to be replaced by a robot... I hope.
A team at Cornell University is keeping my hopes up with the Robobarista, a robot able to manipulate a variety of objects and appliances in human environments.

As the team explains on their website. A human can for example – without ever having seen an espresso machine before – prepare a cup of latte by visually observing the machine and by reading the instruction manual. This is possible because humans have vast prior experience of manipulating differently-shaped objects. The goal of the Cornell project is to enable robots to generalize to different objects and tasks.

Ergo the Cornell project aims to enable robots to generalise to different objects and tasks, such as making coffee for me when my colleague will not.

As the robot stands in front of an object it has never seen before, the robot is given a natural language instruction (manual) and segmented point-cloud. Using the teams algorithm, the robot was able to make a cup of latte.

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