Remember the fantastic video I posted in April of a robot folding laundry? The UC Berkeley researchers behind that breakthrough are now attempting to teach a robot a new chore: pairing socks. "The PR2 is presented with two socks. It then classifies each sock as either "inside" or "outside" and flips accordingly. Once both socks are in the proper orientation, it pairs them." (The video is sped up 15x.) The "Sockification" team have just won $5,000 for that effort from robot Willow Garage, makers of the PR2 robot seen in the clip. Be sure to also check out the other videos in the Willow Garage PR2 Quick Start Contest! (Thanks, Pieter Abbeel!)
David Pescovitz is Boing Boing's co-editor/managing partner. He's also a research director at Institute for the Future. On Instagram, he's @pesco.