Of all the awesome things, you could teach a robot to do, why would you decide to teach one to erase a whiteboard? A chalkboard would make sense, no one likes getting chalk dust on their hands after all. Some geeks from the Italian Institute of Technology and Tokyo City University have worked together to teach a Fujitsu HOAP-2 robot to erase the whiteboard.
The team attached a small eraser to the robots hand and then a human instructor guided it in a variety of sweeping motions. A force-torque sensor in the robots wrist recorded the patterns, forces applied other hand to erase the board, and then the robot was able to replicate the motions.
The cool part there isn’t that the bot learned to erase the whiteboard, but that the machine learned by being show what to do rather than being programmed. When you look at it from that point of view it’s a really cool project. Check out the video below to see Mr. Roboto in action.