Home Exploring Robotic Butler Participates In The ‘Cookie vs. Creme’ Campaign (+VIDEO)
A group of roboticists at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute have worked out an intelligent robot butler that can help doing household chores. Home Exploring Robotic Butler, HERB for short, speaks with a synthetic British accent and looks like a Mars rover, started off as a Segway-powered one-armed bandit that could locate and grasp coffee mugs or open kitchen cabinets. It has since been upgraded with an additional arm and three-fingered hands, and a sensor head equipped with cameras and Kinect-like sensors to help it interpret its surroundings and take on more complex tasks. Normally, HERB serves as the research platform of the Personal Robotics Lab; it is a testbed for algorithms, software and other technology that will enable robots to perform challenging manipulation tasks in places where people live and work. In response to Nabisco’s ‘Cookie vs. Creme’ challenge to build an Oreo-separating machine, HERB has been taught to separate Oreo cookies. The robot finds the cookie using object detection and identification, positions its hand above it just right to actually grab it, and then gently but firmly twists the cookie apart with its other hand. Watch the HERB mastering critical Oreo separation task in the video below.