It seems the march of technology will soon eradicate another boring household chore: unloading the dishwasher. Yep, researchers at Carnegie Mellon's Personal Robotics Lab have taught one of their robots, called HERB, how to put away the dishes.
HERB stands for Home Exploring Robot Butler, and he's the realization of work by Siddhartha Srinivasa, who founded the Personal Robotics Lab as a grad student and is now an associate professor at the university. According to a Washington Post report, Srinivasa grew up dreaming of building his own robot, and began programming at eight years old.
However, most of these tasks are still difficult for him to pull off. The Post notes that when unloading a dishwasher, HERB caused the "bruising and denting" of its contents. And when he tried to separate Oreos, he only succeeded two out of 10 times.
Even if he isn't perfect, it's pretty impressive to see a hulking robot delicately separate something as fragile as an Oreo cookie. It's also slightly terrifying, since he wields a large knife in the same video. But however rudimentary, HERB's abilities do make you wonder what might be possible with robots in the future.
In the meantime, I wouldn't suggest you let HERB handle your fine china.