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Sweet! Bakebot robot makes cookies

MIT grad student cooks up a robot that can bake chocolate chip cookies from scratch. We're a little afraid to see how the trey taste though.

PR2 baking
The PR2 mixes butter, one of several steps necessary for the robot to bake chocolate chip cookies. Jason Dorfman/CSAIL

If there's one thing we know for sure, it's that humanity is only a few years away from the robot armageddon. The robots are improving too quickly and building each other too rapidly to stop. At least we can console ourselves by laughing at the robots of today. Like this bakebot. "A robot baking? How hilarious," you say. Well, get your chuckles in while you can, human. (It's actually pretty funny though.)

Personal favorite part of the video below? When Bakebot tosses the empty bowl on the floor. Just like a real chef! (We all do that, right?) Bakebot is well-known at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), where it was built by MIT graduate student Mario Bollini.

Bollini cooked up the bakebot using the PR2 research and development platform, developed by Willow Garage, to bake chocolate chip cookies from scratch.

"My task is to have the PR2 bake cookies all the way from locating the ingredients in front of it on the table to putting the cookie in the oven," Bollini said.

The bakebot (which is not the first robot chef we've seen) begins by examining the table using a laser scanner and camera to locate the cookie sheet and butter. It identifies all the other ingredients and supplies by color and size. The robot then follows a coded version of the recipe that takes it through mixing the ingredients, scraping the cookie dough onto the baking sheet, and patting it into a large cookie.

Bollini, presumably, is himself a pretty smart cookie. So hopefully he'll enjoy his cold, lifeless robo-cookies when we're all enslaved by bloodthirsty bakebots. OK, we'll calm down with the robo-pocalypse stuff. Funny robot, though.

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