A team from the Toyota Research Institute (TRI) has enhanced the capabilities of its line of domestic robots.

According to company, the domestic robots are now capable of recognizing and manipulating transparent objects and cleaning countertops and tabletops.

In its efforts to expand the capabilities of its domestic robots, TRI managed to accomplish something that has so far escaped other robot engineers: to enable its line of robots to recognize and manipulate transparent or shiny objects.

To accomplish this, TRI devised a new method for training robots to understand 3D scenes and to account for objects and surfaces within those scenes, thereby enabling the robots to access synthetic or "programmable" data that “explains” transparent objects or objects that feature reflections.

Source: TRISource: TRI

This allows the robots to identify a tabletop or countertop and every object on its surface, and this, subsequently, allows robots to pick up and grasp objects as it wipes the tabletop beneath the object. The robots are also capable of moving these objects — silverware, dishes and plates, for instance — to the sink.

For more on its enhanced domestic robots, watch the accompanying video that appears courtesy of TRI.

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