The prospect of a future that includes robot maids took an incremental step forward to reality. Korean scientists have created a domestic robot that cleans, dumps clothes in the washing machine and even heats food in the microwave. Just don't expect it to do any of that speedily.
Standing over 4 feet tall and weighing 122 pounds, Mahru-Z has a human-like body including a rotating head, arms, legs and six fingers and is capable of "seeing" three dimensional objects and can recognize people and jobs that need to be done. It has the dexterity, for instance, to pick up a dirty shirt, throw it into a washing machine and push the buttons to get the laundry done, according to the engineers who developed it at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST).
"The most distinctive strength of Mahru-Z is its visual ability to observe objects, recognize the tasks needed to be completed, and execute them," says You Bum-jae, who heads the cognitive robot center at KIST.
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