You can set yourself reminders to run errands and attend appointments using a variety of digital apps and tools, but small things like turning off lights or taking out the garbage aren't the sort of tasks one thinks to put in a calendar. This is where Watch-Bot, developed by researchers at Cornell and Stanford, comes in.
The robot uses a Kinect sensor and a camera that can pan and tilt "sense" the area around it, IEEE reports. It was then trained by filming 458 videos people going about their normal business in a kitchen and an office, and figuring out on its own using machine learning when people forgot to do things, such as put the milk away. It then used a laser pointer to highlight the forgotten object as a reminder. During testing, it was accurate 60 percent of the time, reminding humans to put a book away or turn off a monitor, among other tasks.