Researchers have created a robotic chef that can flip pancakes and make pizza, in the hope that it could become a fixture of the kitchens of the future. RoboHow, the European project behind the robot chef named PR2, is developing and trialing robots that can competently perform everyday activities, as well as teaching them to understand language and more.
PR2 has been programmed to follow instructions and can flip a pancake with a spatula and make a pizza — simple tasks for humans, but notoriously difficult for automatons to successfully learn and carry out. Unlike humans, who have an implicit knowledge of how to do things like unscrewing a jar lid to picking up a glass of water, robots' lack of intuition and limited range of sensory awareness including depth perception typically make these most basic of day-to-day tasks tricky.
The project, co-ordinated by the Institute for Artificial Intelligence (IAI) at the University of Bremen, and involving researchers from nine European universities, has ambitious aims for the future. The team envisions developing a cognitive robot that can not only perform complex tasks, but also pick up entirely new skills. Ultimately, it is hoped humans will be able to give instructions to robots and teach them to perform new tasks, meaning that the human-robot relationship could grow more symbiotic than ever before.