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Intel's Robot Butler Serves, Clears, and Does Dishes


Our collective dream of a Jetsons-like future is inching closer to reality with a little help from Intel, which this week showed off HERB (the Home Exploring Robot Butler) to The robotic butler, built as part of a collaboration with the Quality of Life Technology Center and Carnegie Mellon University, uses six multi-core computers along with multiple sensors to perform various tasks around the kitchen.

HERB has some powerful capabilities. It can serve, toss things in the trash (or recycling), sort dishes and place them in the dishwasher, and more. But there are still plenty of issues to overcome before HERB can will be scrubbing your pots. During our demonstration, Intel programmers spent nearly 10 minutes debugging code before the HERB was finally able to grasp a container and throw it away. Once HERB got going, though, we could see a real-life robo-maid become a very distinct possibility. Check out our video below.

Ariel Schwartz can be reached on Twitter or by email.

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  • Scott Byorum

    Ahh, we're one step closer to being big fat blobs. Wake me when they develop the model that can go to work for me.