Latest in Bartender

Image credit:

MIT team gets us one step closer to robot bartenders

Amber Bouman, @dameright
August 11, 2015
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

Sure, we've seen machines that can mix drinks with the help of an app and robot bartenders that can create cocktails out of Keurig-esque pods, but they all require you to actually push the control buttons and carry your own beverages. The horror! Fortunately for lazy drinkers everywhere, members of the CSAIL (Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory) team at MIT recently presented a system of robots working together in a "bar" scenario that consisted of a PR2 robot "bartender" and two four-wheeled open-source "Turtlebot" kits acting as waiters. That... must have been a mighty tough day at work.

Seriously, it must have taken a lot of work to accomplish: One of the biggest challenges in getting robots to work together is dealing with the uncertainties presented by the human world. For example, a Turtlebot heading to the PR2 bartender bot might be thwarted by the bartender serving another Turtlebot or by the PR2 being unobservable by the other bots' sensors. Robots are often unable to communicate with each other unless in close proximity, another issue that the team is working on so that the system can be tested in more complex scenarios such as search-and-rescue.

The CSAIL team was able to develop planning algorithms that coordinated groups of bots to perform tasks with only a description of the problem by programming them to see tasks as a series of macro-actions that involved multiple steps. Which means the robots approach tasks like "Fetch me another martini!" more like a human would. Now if they could only get it to make scones and call everybody Wesley....

[Image credit: Tom Buehler/CSAIL]

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

The 2020 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

The 2020 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

View
Joe Biden's presidential transition launches with BuildBackBetter.gov

Joe Biden's presidential transition launches with BuildBackBetter.gov

View
A copy of ‘Super Mario Bros. 3’ sold for $156,000

A copy of ‘Super Mario Bros. 3’ sold for $156,000

View
The Morning After: What you need for ray-tracing in 'Cyberpunk 2077'

The Morning After: What you need for ray-tracing in 'Cyberpunk 2077'

View
How to make sense of Logitech's universal remote lineup

How to make sense of Logitech's universal remote lineup

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr