July 08, 2010
Yes in Fact: A Robot Programmed to Fetch a BeerAt Willow Garage, they have various hackathons, designed to program a PR2 robot to doing something useful, cool, fun, productive, interesting or innovative. A recent one held only a few weeks ago resulted in getting PR2 to play pool, in many cases more accurately than his human programmers.
In their third summer hackathon, the Willow Garage "beer hackathon team" started on a Monday and finished on Friday with the goal of having PR2 zip off to the fridge, grab a beer of your choice using object recognition and then having the robot deliver it to you without you having to move from your seat. PR2 was even programmed to pop the cap off the bottle of beer in case you didn't happen to have one handy.
They're calling it the "Beer Me web application." In this web app, the user is presented with a menu of ice cold beers and ciders, and a pull-down menu specifying the office for delivery. Once the user hits the enticing Beer Me button, it's the robot's job to make that magic happen. Take a look at the video below that captures the team's results.
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