Housework robot can learn to do almost any chore in 20 minutes


A household robot can learn how to do almost any chore in about 20 minutes when taught by a human using an iPhone camera and a litter picker.

Robots tend to perform well only on specific tasks that they have been trained for, like sorting rubbish or picking up laundry, and can quickly run into difficulty when encountering a task in unfamiliar environments, such as in homes.

Now, Mahi Shafiullah at New York University and his colleagues have created a way to teach robots that involves a litter grabber equipped with an iPhone, a system called the Stick.