Technology is advancing at a rapid rate, and we have so many innovations coming up every day. Scientists are making various developments in the field of food as well. Recently, a Japanese professor came up with a device that will let you taste the food on your screen. The 'lickable' television indeed grabbed eyeballs across the internet. And now, another robot has been invented to solve an interesting problem. The use of robots to serve and deliver food is not unheard of. Researchers, however, have unveiled a robot that can perform the delicate task of peeling a banana without squashing the fruit.
Robots in Japan have already been performing simple tasks such as food delivery and doing the dishes. At the Winter Olympics held in Tokyo 2022, athletes were getting food delivered to their doorstep with the help of a bot. However, this robot can perform this job of peeling a banana correctly 57% of the time. This may sound like a simple achievement but is indeed a milestone considering the training and processes that the two-armed robot had to undergo.
A video shared by the researchers from University of Tokyo showed the robot picking up and peeling a banana without squishing the fruit inside in a matter of 3 minutes. Take a look at the full video here:
The clip was shared on YouTube by the Laboratory for Intelligent Systems and Informatics (ISI Lab) at the University of Tokyo. According to Reuters, the banana learnt the task after more than 13 hours of training. Researchers used a "deep imitation learning" process where they demonstrated the banana-peeling action hundreds of times, in order to help the robot, learn and successfully replicate it.
Twitter users reacted to the news with a lot of questions. Some questioned why a robot was being made to learn such a simple task in the first place, and how it would be helpful in the future. Others wanted to know why robots couldn't peel bananas but perform complex surgeries! A few also felt that technology and robots should be used and trained for better purposes.
Take a look at the questions that Twitter users asked:
i've always wanted a robot that peels my bananas. And if it can now also prepare my muesli and cut the banana into small slices, I will hire it immediately.— bΞnjΛmin (@benjsequations) March 24, 2022
hahahah even robots have issues with banana peels— JURΞ (@JureKralj) March 23, 2022
Japanese researcher Yasuo Kuniyoshi believes that his invention means that robots can be trained in future to serve other functions as well, such as food processing and packing. These are very subtle and trained tasks that are currently performed only by humans. This will help tackle Japan's labour shortage problems too, as per Kuniyoshi.
What did you think of the robot that can peel a banana? Tell us in the comments below.