Robotic arm washes dishes

Last updated Dec 18, 2008 — 1538 views

The University of Tokyo is developing a series of robots that perform housekeeping chores such as washing dishes and doing laundry. A video showing one of the University’s robots washing and stacking dishes recently popped up on YouTube.

According to a Reuters news item, the prototype dishwashing robot is part of a series of housekeeping robot designs developed in association with Panasonic. The University hopes to see products based on its designs begin showing up in consumers’ homes in about five years.

University of Tokyo’s dishwashing robot
(Click each thumbnail for a larger view)

The University’s prototype dishwashing robot’s hand is equipped with 18 sensors of five different types, Reuters reports.

The following Japanese-language video shows the robot carefully picking up, rinsing, and stacking dishes in a dishwasher.

University of Tokyo’s dishwashing robot
(Click above to play video)

The robot’s developers currently are focused on making the robot smaller, lighter, and faster, with a goal of having it “put away dishes in five minutes after a family of four has finished dinner,” Reuters reports. Another design in the series picks up clothes, puts them in a washing machine, and operates the driver on its own.

The series of housekeeping robots appears to be a project of the University of Tokyo Graduate School of Information Science and Technology’s Mechano-Informatics department.

The brief Reuters article, which includes another video showing the University’s dishwashing robot in action, can be found here.

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