From Singularity Hub:
Robots just got roped into doing some light housework. Researchers at UC Berkeley used Willow Garage’s PR2 robot to fold towels. The UCB programming used some innovative visual scanning allowing the PR2 to pick up a towel, find its corners, and fold it on a table perfectly.
According to the paper presented at the 2010 ICRA, the robot successfully completed 50 out of 50 attempts to fold a single towel, and also folded 5 out of 5 towels when they were presented in a group. Is watching a robot do laundry really that exciting? Hell yes. We have a personal robot actually performing personal and useful tasks. It’s not dancing. It’s not welcoming you to an expo. It’s doing real work. That’s amazing. But you know what, forget all that, too! You know why this is really great? UC Berkeley used a Willow Garage robot to develop their own sophisticated robotics program. That validates the whole premise of the PR2 — faster development by letting researchers use a common platform. Score one for open source robotics!
[Read more at Singularity Hub]