Don't get me wrong: I'm all for domestic robots. I own a Roomba. I professed my admiration for the Robot Chef. But the humanoid dish-washing robot we saw last year creeps me out. (Blame it on watching too much Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.)
Fortunately, that doesn't mean I have to give up hope of ever having robotic help in the kitchen. Readybot, a proof-of-concept kitchen-cleaning robot built by a club of Silicon Valley engineers, looks totally non-threatening, like a boxy R2-D2. Because it's put together by a group of enthusiasts, the robot uses common, mass-produced parts and readily available software.
The bot is currently capable of taking over several mundane kitchen-cleaning tasks, such as cleaning the counters and loading the dishwasher. Eventually, the club hopes Readybot will be able to complete up to 80 percent of your everyday kitchen cleaning.
To get a taste of the Readybot in action, check out this YouTube video of a test run earlier this year. Though it's obviously in the very early stages of development, the engineers suggest that it could be market-ready in as little as two years. My kitchen is waiting.