Engineers at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory are making robots that serve beer. And more specifically, they're making big robots that place beer cans in little robots, who then bring that beer to you, on the couch, at your desk, or by the pool.
"You can take some robots, take some smart people and engineers and make something really nice, and work quickly and efficiently," Ariel Anders, an engineer who worked on the robots, said in a recent video.
The MIT engineers presented three robots at the Robotics Science and Systems conference. The idea is to have a team of robots that can delivery items in different situations, like say getting supplies and medicine across a battlefield in a war-torn country, or retrieving the TV remote from your weird college roommate's bedroom.
During the demonstration, the robots were used to deliver beer in the researchers' lab-turned-bar. A larger PR2 robot worked with two smaller Turtlebot robots to take and serve drink orders to other students.
The Turtlebot asked the students if they wanted a drink, and the students responded by pressing a button on the bot. If you wanted a beer, the Turtlebot went and fetched you one.
You can watch the video below to see the robots in action and to learn more about the science behind them, including micro vs. macro actions, coordinating robot behavior, offline actions and navigation problems. But bottom line, the robots bring you beer.
To learn more, you can check out the full research paper online.
If I had a robot, I'd name it Murray. Follow me on Twitter @Jenn_Harris_