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Photo via Robotbarista.cs.cornell/edu
Photo via Robobarista.cs.cornell/edu

Imagine, in the future a robot might be making your morning latte.

Cornell researchers’ Robobarista project is all about getting robots to figure out how to do everyday functions by using intuition, not from pre-programmed information.

“In order for robots to interact within household environments, robots should be able to manipulate a large variety of objects and appliances in human environments, such as stoves, coffee dispensers, juice extractors, and so on,” the Cornell researchers write on their website.

“Consider the espresso machine above — even without having seen the machine before, a person can 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. In this project, our goal is to enable robots to generalize to different objects and tasks.”

To devise the instructions, the Robobarista team crowdsourced info from the internet to assemble a “large collection of demonstrations for robots.”

The idea is to get the robot to recognize certain things, like levers, buttons and so forth, that produce similar results. See the Cornell team’s basic mappings of how everyday objects work below:

Photo via Robobarista/
Photo via Robobarista/

Now watch the robot in action below:

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