Tired of Doing Your Laundry? PR2 Robot Comes to the Rescue

It would be nice to have a robot around the house to handle the laundry, right? The Jetsons had one (among other things), and you could, too — the PR2, a semi-humanoid robot, is very near being capable of doing the laundry from start to finish. A PR2 previously was shown to be able to fold clean laundry, though it does take its sweet time doing so (think several minutes per towel at least) because of how carefully it works. Now, in a video published this week, the robot can be seen taking clothes out of a basket and placing them in a washer.

This too happens at a glacial pace (the video is sped up) but it's still fast enough that it could be done while you're at work or out to dinner. Whether the robot can collect clothes from the floor, transfer them between machines, and do things like add soap and fabric softener is unknown for now. There's no reason it shouldn't be able to with more work by its creators, a group of roboticists from UC Berkeley and the University of Massachusetts led by Siddharth Srivastava.

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—Devin Coldewey