HERB Learns to Separate Oreos, Probably Thinks Humans are Crazy

CMU's robotic butler is perhaps the most ridiculous way of separating creme from cookie

1 min read
HERB Learns to Separate Oreos, Probably Thinks Humans are Crazy

There's a reason why Oreos exist in their present form: they're a carefully formulated combination of exactly the right amount of cookie with exactly the right amount of creme. But that's just not good enough for humans, because humans are crazy, and rather than just buying some chocolate cookies or some frosting, we instead insist on disemboweling our Oreos to separate the creme from the cookie the hard way. We're willing to go to absurdly awesome lengths to do it, most recently including CMU's HERB robotic butler.

If a frying pan is ineffective, try a knife. Good thing to be teaching robots, eh?

Most of this seems to be autonomous, although honestly, it's a little bit hard to tell, although it was nice of CMU to put together this making-of video:

Despite the fact that this is a shameless promo for Oreos, it takes an impressively fine level of control to be able to manipulate the cookies without destroying them. I can only imagine how many broken Oreos the CMU students must have had to eat over the course of this project. Must've been tough. I just hope they had enough milk available, but maybe that'll be the next thing they teach HERB to provide for them.

[ HERB ] via [ CMU ]

The Conversation (0)

How Robots Can Help Us Act and Feel Younger

Toyota’s Gill Pratt on enhancing independence in old age

10 min read
An illustration of a woman making a salad with robotic arms around her holding vegetables and other salad ingredients.
Dan Page

By 2050, the global population aged 65 or more will be nearly double what it is today. The number of people over the age of 80 will triple, approaching half a billion. Supporting an aging population is a worldwide concern, but this demographic shift is especially pronounced in Japan, where more than a third of Japanese will be 65 or older by midcentury.

Toyota Research Institute (TRI), which was established by Toyota Motor Corp. in 2015 to explore autonomous cars, robotics, and “human amplification technologies,” has also been focusing a significant portion of its research on ways to help older people maintain their health, happiness, and independence as long as possible. While an important goal in itself, improving self-sufficiency for the elderly also reduces the amount of support they need from society more broadly. And without technological help, sustaining this population in an effective and dignified manner will grow increasingly difficult—first in Japan, but globally soon after.

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