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Robot arm scoops goop spills like magic

The Switl robot picker-upper from Japan's Furukawa Kikou can scrape up your yucky mayonnaise-ketchup stains like nobody's business.

The Switl in action. No word yet on whether it scoops dog poop. Video screenshot by Tim Hornyak/CNET

Got messy kids? Or perhaps you're just clumsy with ketchup. If so, Japan's Furukawa Kiko has just the thing for you--a robot scooper that can scrape up gooey spills without leaving a smidgen behind.

The Niigata-based factory equipment maker says its Switl "robot hand" is the first of its kind in the world and it's patent pending. As seen in the vid below, it scrapes up mayonnaise and ketchup spills completely, and can then deposit them.

The Furukawa Kiko Web site has no details on how it works, or what its name means, but there is another video showing it being used in a manufacturing line for baked buns.

Furukawa says the technology could be used outside the food industry. I could see an even smaller handheld Switl being very useful around the home.

All they need is the ShamWow guy to get behind this.

(Via Pink Tentacle)