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7.19.19
Kickin' It

Watch an MIT Robot Attempt the Bottle Cap Challenge — Sort Of

July 12th 19__Kristin Houser__Filed Under: Robots & Machines
MIT

Challenge Accepted

In the world of robotics, Baxter is something of a celebrity, and now, the bot is starting to act like one — by putting its own twist on the latest viral trend.

In May, researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory demonstrated Baxter’s latest skill: mirroring a human operator’s arm movements by watching their bicep and tricep muscles.

In a newly published video, Baxter uses this talent to follow in the footsteps of Ryan Reynolds, Mariah Carey, and other celebs by tackling the viral #BottleCapChallenge.

Techy Twist

If you’ve spent any time at all on the internet in the past few weeks, you’re likely already familiar with the #BottleCapChallenge — essentially, a person just films themselves unscrewing a bottle cap in an inventive way that typically involves a badass 360-degree kick.

Baxter doesn’t have legs, so the standard unscrewing method wasn’t an option for the MIT team. Instead, they tweaked the bot’s “hand,” adding a soft, flexible gripper that could bend around the bottle cap, CSAIL grad student Joseph DelPreto told Digital Trends.

After that, they had Baxter watch as DelPreto knocked a cap off one bottle, and sure enough, the robot mirrored his motions — perhaps earning the honor of delivering the most high-tech #BottleCapChallenge to hit the ‘net yet.

READ MORE: MIT whiz kids got a robot to take on the viral #BottleCapChallenge [Digital Trends]

More on Baxter: Robots and Humans Need to Learn How To “Talk” to One Another