Robot Does Chores, Learns Not to Put Socks in Refrigerator

The new "Home Assistant Robot" is the product of joint research between Toyota and the University of Tokyo. And while it's not as fancy as Asimo, the 5-foot, 130kg home robot is probably a whole lot more practical—it cleans instead of dancing and packs two wheels instead of tricky legs.

The HAR uses five cameras and six lasers to map and navigate your home, and it can move its various appendages with some degree of freedom (the neck alone can be moved in three directions while the arms move an impressive seven).

With all of this hardware at its disposal, HAR can open and close doors, tidy up rooms, mop floors, do laundry and put away dishes. The robot is even smart enough to move furniture as necessary and place it back in its original position.

Just how the robot can learn from its mistakes was unclear, but the programming seems to operate on simple "Magic Eye"-type principals distinguishing what's different about a room from its original room image and correcting the differences accordingly.

The robot can run 30 to 60 minutes per charge and can be expected to arrive at homes in the next decade for $US10,000. [Asahi via CrunchGear]

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