Thursday 12 December 2019
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Make Your Latte with Robobarista

Make Your Latte with Robobarista

PR2, the robot from Cornell University can make it easy to get your daily dose of coffee. The robot has made progress and can now not prepare a latte, where steamed milk has to be poured over the coffee. The Robobarista will now help you fix your latte. The team at Cornell University has collected crowd-sourcing information from the volunteers in the web to teach PR2, the robot, to use objects it had never seen before to operate an espresso machine. The robot followed the instructions autonomously. This was possible on the basis of object recognition skills with which it could carry out the actions it had to perform.

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Crowdsourced Database of Instruction

We human beings can recognize objects and can manage to make them work based on the function of how to use them. However, robots are not intuitive and need to be taught comprehensively. This can turn out to be labor intensive. So, with crowdsourcing the data were collected. People from different parts of the world logged into a website, to help catalogue objects for the PR2’s database.

This database helped PR2 robot to run an espresso machine that it had not seen earlier. This it did by transferring the information it knew, about similar object parts in its database. It did so using an instruction manual in English.

How will it Operate?

When it gets the instruction “Push down on the handle to add hot water”, it means that the robot needs to find and recognize a handle on the espresso machine that is unfamiliar for it. The PR2 was able to do so, on the basis of its knowhow about urinal handle that also works in a similar way.

PR2 was able to learn how to use the machine by drawing on its crowdsourced database and make a latte successfully, all by itself.

A robotic kitchen will hit the market in the future, but it is different than PR2. The kitchen functions by following a pre-programmed set of movements which are considered as a single command. However, PR2 from the Cornell University can work with variables.

The PR2 robot is still being educated with crowdsourcing. If you want to assist in this procedure, you can sign up on the Robobarista website.

What about you? Are you going to make your contribution of instructions for Robobarista? We would love to hear your thoughts.


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