Press a button to confirm the order and in a few moments your beer (or other drink) is delivered.

Are you one of those people that can never be bothered to take the trip to the refrigerator for a can of beer? Some people train their dog for that, while the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) of the renowned American faculty MIT came up with three robots that can effectively deliver drinks. And it was not easy. You have to understand that the enviroment is not static: the robots must be aware where they are in the room, where other objects are located and whether a person wants a beer. All of those things can change from moment to moment.

They produced two waiters (Leonard and Raphael) and a bartender PR2, who loads the smaller two with the beer. The ordering process is classic: the robot arrives to a person and asks him if he would like to order a drink. If the answer is positive, the customer confirms it by pressing a button. The robot goes to the bartender, which loads it with the beer that it then proceeds to deliver. The waiters communicate with each other only when they are close, as that's when they must make sure to avoid a fateful meeting.

While the bartender is truly colossal, perhaps too large for a home, it is certainly a good start, wouldn't you say?

Aug. 16, 2015 Living photo: MIT, Beerbots

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