Justin Humanoid Robot Makes Coffee

Professor Bruno Siciliano, of the Robotics and Automation Group at the University of Naples, Italy, tells us that the autonomous two-armed robot his team is using to demonstrate such dexterous manipulation tasks as making coffee is a German creation.

The humanoid manipulator, he says, was developed by a team at the Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics, which is part of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), in Wessling, Germany.

Oh, and the robot is called Justin, not Justine -- "so it's a 'male' robot eventually," Siciliano adds.

Siciliano is the coordinator of the DEXMART project, an ambitious European Union-funded initiative to improve robotic dexterity and related fields. He says that DLR's Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics, headed by Gerhard Hirzinger, is a partner in the project, which started this month.

Siciliano's team is using Justin "as one of the experimental platforms for dexterous and autonomous bimanual manipulation tasks." One of those tasks involves using the robot as a barista.

So, yes, the bot makes great coffee. But a more important question, raised by my blog colleague Mikell, remains unanswered: Is it programmed in Java?

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