California-based robotics company Willow Garage, which is well known for their ongoing work on an open-source robotics platform, has reached milestone 2 of their program.
Their PR2 robot successfully navigated an office building with moving human. It took less than 1 hour to autonomously plugged itself into 10 designated power outlets throughout the building, opening doors in various states of closed, partially opened, and fully open in the process. The robot also detected that one of its ten goal outlets was behind a locked door, aborted that effort, and moved on to its next outlet. A crucial element in achieving this milestone was the PR2's new robust failure handling system, which allowed it to recover from errors in detecting doors and grasping plugs.
Willow Garage's PR2
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