Italian robot makes your coffee, picks up your clothes

Spiegel Online reports on an EU DEXMART-funded research project at the University of Naples to design and build a robot that makes coffee and picks up clothes. The robot, named Justin [the Spiegel article incorrectly calls it "Justine"], is supposed to be one step in developing a multitasking household robot. From the article:

The â'¬6.3-million ($9.3 million) project aims to develop robots that can use two arms simultaneously and in harmony, as opposed to current robots, which only have the technological complexity to handle "one-armed" tasks.

This goal is interesting to compare with the predictions of iRobot cofounder Colin Angle, who predicts that we will instead see more specialized robots like the Roomba -- an armless, not at all humanoid robot. Will Justine control Roomba some day? Or is one more likely to take off as a new paradigm than the other?

Of course, we should really be focusing on the important question, which is: is this coffee-making robot programmed in Java?

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