'Boris The Robot' Can Load Your Dishwasher

It's likely that you already have a robot dishwasher in your home: it's called a dishwasher.

Now there's a robot who wants to load it for you, too.

Meet Boris, a new robot developed at University of Birmingham which is one of the first to be able to lift and manipulate unfamiliar objects without any prior programming.

The robot, unveiled at the British Science Festival, is able to intelligently grasp objects like a human. It uses sensors in its eyes and wrist to look at objects, calculates thousands of ways to pick it up and then chooses the best one.

The robot uses humanlike hands with five fingers to pick up the objects - not necessarily the best way to pick things up, but a great way to demonstrate how the robot is able to learn like a human.

"It's not been programmed to pick it up - it's been programmed to learn how to pick it up," Professor Jeremy Wyatt told the BBC.

"You get a bunch of objects off a table, scattered as you might have them on a kitchen surface, and the robot will look through the set of objects, find one it wants to pick up, figure out where to put it in the dishwasher, and load it."

The robot cost £350,00 to develop, and the software used to power it could have applications in many different industries.