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The Recommender

Robot Atlas Can Do The Chores You Don’t Want To Do

It's like Roomba on steroids.

The robot takeover is nigh—but first, let one of your future masters clean your home.

While last year’s DARPA Robotics Challenge sought a robot most capable of performing missions in disaster areas, the rest of us have been hoping for a mechanized servant friend better suited to more...immediate needs, such as doing our chores.

Fortunately, the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, or IHMC, is taking us one step closer to the robot butler of our dreams with its multi-million-dollar Atlas. Since its second place win at the DARPA Robotics Challenge, Team IHMC hasn’t slowed down its innovations, paying particular attention to Atlas. Case in point: The humanoid robot can now sweep floors.

And vacuum them!



Atlas can also pick up boxes, fold up ladders, and move chairs—all useful résumé skills for when your office hires its next assistant. And in what we’re sure is an attempt to showcase its humanity (and thereby luring us into a false sense of security before stealing our identities), Atlas appears to have the capacity for the very-human traits of laziness and inefficiency, as evidenced by it throwing a paper airplane.

Next up on the docket: teaching Atlas how to scroll Facebook and access your bank account.