It might be every science geek’s dream come true — robots that get you beer.
MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory engineers have created “BeerBots,” a set of robots programmed to fetch drinks.
In the video, you’ll see one larger BeerBot act like the bartender, getting drinks ready for the smaller BeerBots, or “TurtleBots,” that run the drinks back and forth from the bartender ‘bot to the customer.
The TurtleBots are actually programmed to ask, “Do you want to order a drink?”
In MIT’s post about the project on its site, they ask, “If companies like Amazon and Google have their way, soon enough we will have robots air-dropping supplies from the sky. But is our software where it needs to be to move and deliver goods in the real world?”
If you haven’t read already about how we found Amazon’s secret testing site for its drones, you probably should do that now.
While delivering beer is all well and good, MIT is hoping further studies will help them develop robots that can be used in more “unpredictable environments.”
“The team says its models could extend to a variety of other applications, including hospitals, disaster situations, and even restaurants and bars.”
The team presented their BeerBots at the recent Robotics Science and Systems conference. Their BeerBots “reflect state-of-the-art planning algorithms that allow groups of robots to perform tasks given little more than a high-level description of the general problem to be solved.”
Of course, the BeerBots’ delivery was far from perfect. The MIT team reported that it’s still challenging to get them to work together due to uncertainties in their environment that impact their sensors and communications.
I love the idea of drones and robots helping in war and disaster zones to save lives. But when robots are replacing your bartender? It might not be long before we’re fetching beers for our robot overlords.