Ironing Robot May Fulfill Russian Science Fiction Dreams

Columbia University researchers have spent the last three years building a machine-learning robot that can iron clothes.


(Ironing robot video)

The ironing robot picks up a piece of clothing and rotates it 360 degrees to expose it to a Microsoft Xbox Kinect sensor that digitally reconstructs the item.

The ironing robot fuses two types of surface scans to get the wrinkles out. A curvature scan estimates the height deviation of the cloth surface, while a discontinuity scan can detect sharp surface features, such as wrinkles. The machine-learning robot then uses this information to detect the areas on the clothing that need to be ironed.

“Robotic ironing is a very challenging task,” said Yinxiao Li, lead author on a paper set to be published at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics. Li admits that an ironing robot is still too slow and costly to be practical, but he said the robot’s ability to handle floppy, unpredictable objects has lots of applications outside the laundry room.

Russian science fiction author Mikhail Mikheev also encountered some problems on the way to creating a (fictional) ironing robot. In his 1972 short story "Утюг" (pronounced "ootyug") or "Iron", future Russians use natural plant fibers to recreate what their "прабабушки" (great-grandmothers) wore.

But, there was a problem. Unlike future clothing, the vintage clothing wrinkled and somehow needed to be smoothed. How could this be accomplished? Better call "Бытовых Автоматов" - Household Automata to create an ironing robot!

New clothes had to be protected, periodically clean, wash and dry. Build special base washing and cleaning proved unsustainable, and offered to set up production plants portable washing machines. But after washing and drying clothes had to be smooth - free from fine lines and wrinkles ...

Here plant Household Automata and received an urgent task to develop and set up production units of BTR - "бытовые тканевые разглаживатели " (a household fabric smoother).

Senior designer Rodia Semenova submits one design after another; the incredible progress of Russian science causes each to be labeled as insufficiently modern. First, the heating element is replaced by "microgenerators"; then, the microgenerators are discarded in favor of elements of colliding isotopes!

Eventually (*spoiler alert!) it appears that his tough old grandmother had the solution all along - and it was made of cast iron.

Sorry, roboticists.

Via RoboticsTrends.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/18/2016)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

Las Vegas Humans Ready To Strike Over Robots
'A worker replaced by a nubot... had to be compensated.' - John Twelve Hawks, 2014.

Somnox Sleep Robot - Your Sleepytime Cuddlebot
Science fiction authors are serious about sleep, too.

VirtualHome: Teaching Robots To Do Chores Around The House
'Just what did I want Flexible Frank to do? - any work a human being does around a house.' Robert Heinlein, 1956.

Artificial Sensory Neurons For Prosthetics, Robots
Great for humans and robots!

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Las Vegas Humans Ready To Strike Over Robots
'A worker replaced by a nubot... had to be compensated.'

You'll Regrow That Limb, One Day
'... forcing the energy transfer which allowed him to regrow his lost fingers.'

Elon Musk Seeks To Create 1941 Heinlein Speedster
'The car surged and lifted, clearing its top by a negligible margin.'

Somnox Sleep Robot - Your Sleepytime Cuddlebot
Science fiction authors are serious about sleep, too.

Real-Life Macau or Ghost In The Shell
Art imitates life imitates art.

Has Climate Change Already Been Solved By Aliens?
'I had explained," said Nessus, "that our civilisation was dying in its own waste heat.'

First 3D Printed Human Corneas From Stem Cells
Just what we need! Lots of spare parts.

VirtualHome: Teaching Robots To Do Chores Around The House
'Just what did I want Flexible Frank to do? - any work a human being does around a house.'

Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI) Workshop
SF writers have thought about this since the 19th century.

Nanorobots Roam Your Bloodstream, Cleaning It
Too bad they won't have lasers, though...

Galini 3D Printed Sleeping Pod Tiny Houses
'The houses are prefabricated units...'

MIT Boffins Create Psychopath AI On Purpose
There's a lesson in this for neural net AI engineers everywhere.

Skin Electronics 3D Printed
'June's body is a tracery of lambent lines, like some arcane capillary circuitry...'

Artificial Sensory Neurons For Prosthetics, Robots
Great for humans and robots!

China Uses Artificial Intelligence To Grade Student Papers
Looks like the City Fathers are starting to take over China's education system.

Electronic Tongues Will Rule The Kitchen
'Install taste buds in the end of one tentacle...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.