New Robotic Maid Does Your Laundry, Shuffles Around Like a Drunk

Illustration for article titled New Robotic Maid Does Your Laundry, Shuffles Around Like a Drunk

Researchers at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology have created a robot that can do a number of basic household tasks. It's not exactly sprightly, but what are you going to do — program the microwave yourself?

Advertisement

Mahru-Z, the four-foot-tall robotic helper developed by KIST, can make toast, pick up stray objects, and load and operate a washing machine. It can also find its own way through the rooms of a house, though it walks with a painful, hesitant gait that suggests a night of hard drinking. The Mahru-M model, an earlier version created by the same team, is a bit more graceful, using wheels to get from place to place.

Robotic maids have been around for a few years now, but the Mahru-Z is said (by the people who made it) to be the best yet at approximating human movement. This may not be as much of a selling point as the developers believe, based on the clip linked above, so it's also worth noting that Mahru-Z is relatively autonomous. It can navigate the house without any direction or oversight from its owner, and it can perform certain chores without having to be told.

Advertisement

Sadly, neither Mahru model has been made commercially available yet. However, given other recent developments in the domestic-robotics industry (link may be NSFW), it wouldn't surprise us if the Mahru-Z line got fast-tracked through development. When you're busy having sex with your sexbot all the time, those dishes have a tendency to pile up.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

Funny walking and incredibly slow movement aside, this is really awesome. I mean, humanoid household robots that can do our chores is right up there with flying cars and jet-packs when it comes to things that the year 2010 *should* have, but doesn't. Seeing a real one, seeing it successfully perform basic tasks on its own, and knowing it's an actual robot, and not some guy in a suit or a mere remote-controlled toy, is really cool — even if the technology obviously still has some wobbly steps to take before it gets practical.

And there's even an actual practical reason for them to exist, particularly in Japan, where changing demographics are likely to mean a service labour shortage and lots of ageing people requiring personal assistance in the not-too-distant future.