Koolio: Autonomous Refrigerator Robot

Professors work hard - and they deserve refreshment. At the Machine Intelligence Lab at Benton Hall at the University of Florida, they are served by Koolio, the autonomous refrigerator Robot.

(Koolio Refrigerator Robot)

Here's a typical sequence of instructions in the life of Koolio:

  • Dr. Nechyba is in an important meeting with a future client and has a sudden urge for a Diet Coke.
  • He logs on to the network and tells Koolio that he would like a Diet Coke.
  • Koolio receives this signal through its wireless card and determines the room number needed.
  • It leaves its docking station at the MIL lab and proceeds to the hallway.
  • It navigates the hall way with a variety of instruments:
    • Sonar for accurate long distance coverage.
    • IR for close obstacle avoidance.
    • Shaft encoding for accurate navigation once location is determined.
    • Web cameras for reading room numbers off the wall.
  • It locates room 326 and delivers Dr. Nechyba his Diet Coke thus averting disaster.
  • It leaves the room and returns to its docking station to recharge and wait for the next call.

If you are interested in a real-life bartending robot, take a look at T-Rot Thinking Robot Tends Bar, Chats.

Fans of sf writer Harry Harrison may recall the robot bar from his 1965 story Bill The Galactic Hero, long before R2D2 served snacks on Jabba the Hutt's pleasure barge. Even earlier is the robot bartender from Alfred Bester's 1956 classic The Stars My Destination.

See Koolio home page. Thanks to Ray Girvan for this one.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/22/2004)

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