People, we’ve been microwaving our own Hot Pockets for too long. It’s about time we delegated that responsibility to machines, so that we might spend our time doing more important things like watching re-runs of Wings and napping.
That’s why I’m so happy to discover HERB, which is short for Home Exploring Robot Butler. Unlike most butlers, HERB is equipped with a spinning laser that allows it to create three-dimensional models of the world around it.
In the video above, Siddhartha Srinivasa of The Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University shows off his robot, which prepares a microwaveable meal in the same kitchen that the human staff uses. Its camera and flexible, belt-driven arm let it locate objects and gently feel its way around an environment so it doesn’t do things like punch a hole in the microwave.
The whole thing sits on a Segway base and is programmed to perform its tasks autonomously. All it needs is a British accent, a dry sense of humor and a tuxedo and it’ll be ready for Downton Abbey.