Friday, April 2, 2010

Robot folds laundry

UC Berkeley roboticist Pieter Abbeel and his colleagues developed software that enables a robot to fold towels. From the abstract to their scientific paper:

"The robot begins by picking up a randomly dropped towel from a table, goes through a sequence of vision-based re-grasps and manipulations-- partially in the air, partially on the table--and finally stacks the folded towel in a target location. The reliability and robustness of our algorithm enables for the first time a robot with general purpose manipulators to reliably and fully-autonomously fold previously unseen towels, demonstrating success on all 50 out of 50 single-towel trials as well as on a pile of 5 towels. "