I dislike picking up my dog's droppings almost as much as stepping in them. However, a fleet of these automated scoopers could one day safeguard my shoe soles without reducing me to picking up poop.
The team at University of Pennsylvania's GRASP lab programmed the PR2 robot to automatically seek out and identify Potentially Offensive Objects for Pickup (POOP) from a given field using its color cameras. Once all the POOP in the area has been localized, the robot will drive to each pile individually, pick it up using a store-bought poop scoop and deposit it in a bucket for disposal. PR2, bucket, and scoop together comprise the $400,000 Perception Of Offensive Products and Sensorized Control Of Object Pickup (POOP SCOOP) system and is capable of clearing 12 individual POOPs in 20 minutes.
That's fantastic and all, but once it's done clearing an area, what do you have? A robot holding a big pail of sh*t, that's what. Can someone please integrate an AshPoopie or at least a Mr. Fusion into this—like, stat? [IEEE via Popular Science]