The creators of the PR2 robot are finally done making it fold their laundry. Now they've finally put it to some good, honest labor: billiards. It's just like The Color of Money, except Paul Newman is a task-oriented robot.
It was a unique challenge for the Willow Garage team responsible for PR2: a special grip and bridge had to be made so the PR2 could use a cue, not to mention all the difficulty of ball location, shot planning, and getting that tiny chalk cube into PR2's giant robot claws.
The robot didn't complete a full game but it did sink five balls, which is better than I can do. And considering the whole process of making the PR2 pool-capable took a week, it bodes well for the future, when robots who wander into the seedy part of town will be able to fend for themselves in casual physics-based table games. [Willow Garage]