A robot unveiled today at the British Science Festival will be loading dishwashers next year, its developers claim.
“Boris” is one of the first robots in the world capable of intelligently manipulating unfamiliar objects with a humanlike grasp.
It was developed by scientists at the University of Birmingham.
The team also work with “Bob”, an autonomous robot who recently completed work experience at security firm G4S.
“This is Boris’ first public outing,” announced Professor Jeremy Wyatt of the School of Computer Science. The robot took five years to develop at a cost of £350,000.
Boris “sees” objects with depth sensors on its face and wrists. In 10 seconds it calculates up to a thousand possible ways to grasp a novel object with its five robotic fingers and plans a path of arm movements to reach its target, avoiding obstructions.
“It’s not been programmed to pick it up – it’s been programmed to learn how to pick it up,” explained Professor Wyatt.