HERB, the Home Exploring Robot Butler, is a clutter managing robot designed by Carnegie Mellon University that is capable of sorting items using adaptive awareness.
What makes this robot special is that he (his name is HERB, so i’m assuming it is a ‘he’), has developed a tender side when sorting through other people’s messes. HERB has begun to cradle objects he handles much like you would a baby.
The reason HERB is so sweet is because his researchers programmed him to be creative in his problem solving. He goes about handling things much like a human would — carefully and responsively.
The example of getting a carton of milk out of the refrigerator was given: there may be things in front of the carton, some of which we would pick up and move out of the way, others that we would push aside as we grab for the milk. These things seem simple, but each small movement needs to be programmed into good old HERB.
This is why HERB’s programming allows him to be flexible in how he sorts things. He is like a clean-up robot who knows the best way to organize objects, like putting colored blocks in bins of the same color.
The robo-butler learns according to context, it realized that the best position to carry an item from one spot to the next was to cradle it, which shows that HERB is capable of some creative problem solving, according to the Huffington Post.
Programming is even being tested that allows HERB to use information from the internet to identify objects and how to sort or place them around the house.
This creative (and apparently kind-hearted) robot is the first step toward at-home robot assistants. If robo-butlers really are the future, it is good to see that we are starting with such a swell guy (swell robot?) like HERB.
And of course he likes Oreos.