Though not much of a looker -- feel free to insert your own beer goggles joke here -- Basil the Robot is an experiment by Jim and Louise Gunderson to train an AI to identify its surroundings symbolically. That way, the couple hopes, he can react dynamically in new environments. Basil was intended to be shown off at a Cafe Scientifique meeting by having him go to the bar and order drinks for his creators, but that proved unsuccessful when Basil's battery died. The couple did videotape a successful trial run from the night before, which you can see after the break. Basil will next receive a microphone for voice commands and be upgraded from his current sonar navigation to a video sight system. The eventual goal is to teach Basil to go to the local brewery and pick up beer. Sure, we're still terrified of the robot revolution, but let's get serious here -- who are we to deny our mechanical overlords if they keep proffering us six-packs? Hit up the read link for the full story.