The PR2 open source platform robot from Willow Garage has recently been used to handle many menial and simple tasks. You can see the PR2 scan and bag groceries, fold clothes, and travel around learning to read. The days of PR2 performing the day to day are not over, now it is cooking.
The PR2 was taken by MIT graduate student Mario Bollini and made to bake cookies from start to finish. The PR2 would mix the cookie dough, dollop onto a cookie sheet, and place it into the oven. Bollini dubbed this use of the PR2 robot, “BakeBot.”
Using the PR2’s array of onboard cameras and laser scanners, the bot maps the table and identifies the ingredients. In the experiment, BakeBot, identifies the pre-determined ingredients by the color of the bowls. Though precise in position, overall mixing of the batter was a bit crude. And the bot would just throw the bowls on the ground. BakeBot is definitely lacking the cookie making skills and grace of every grandmother out there.
The team plans to further refine BakeBot.