Robot Butler Serves Up Snacks: Is This a Problem?

A robot butler can't be a bad thing, can it?  After all, we would all like to be waited on by a servant, especially one that can be shut down if it gives you any problems. So, just make sure that it can be turned off!  This is not a new robot, in fact the machine made its debut at Carnegie Mellon University back in September of 2009.  You can go back and look at the story done here on RobotNext about this snackbot.   Also, follow the links below to see the article from the by Charles Arthur.


    Credit:|The Observer

"The robot butler has a long and frequently chequered history. From    Robbie the Robot in Forbidden Planet (who could bring a nicely shaken  martini) through to HAL 9000 in 2001: A Space Odyssey (which served  food via a hatch, then later killed you), the idea that there must be a  better method of getting refreshments handed out than making a person  push a trolley is one that just won't go away."


New Robot Delivers Snacks

Here is a robot for the junk food junkies everywhere. If you need a snack, then this is the machine for you. Carnegie Mellon University has developed this robot to serve snacks to students, faculty, and office personnel that work on the campus. Of course, it also has a more serious purpose: To serve (pun intended) as a research platform for autonomous operations in a business office environment.

As the researchers explain, "The research will allow the robot to navigate through congested areas in a socially acceptable fashion, detect individual people moving near the robot, recognize when someone that the robot knows approaches it, and autonomously learn to recognize new objects."

If you look at the original source for this article at Carnegie Mellon’s website, then you will find video links and a pdf of the research paper on the Snackbot.


Credit:  Carnegie Mellon University via Live Science

Snackbot is an autonomous mobile robot whose mission is to bring tasty treats.

New Robot Delivers Snacks by Bill Christensen

Sat, 17 Oct 2009 13:10:03 GMT

Snackbot is a mobile autonomous robot, intended for both fully autonomous and semi-autonomous operation, built by an interdisciplinary team at Carnegie Mellon University. Snackbot has two jobs. One job is to serve as a research platform for projects in robotics, design, and behavioral science. We welcome new partners or sponsors for this work. Snackbot’s other job is to serve snacks.

Original Source:

Carnegie Mellon University

Lee, M.K., Forlizzi, J., Rybski, P.E., Crabbe, F., Chung, W., Finkle, J., Glaser, E., and Kiesler, S. (2009) The Snackbot: Documenting the design of a robot for long-term human-robot interaction. In
Proceedings of HRI2009, 7-14. [pdf]