But, while having a mechanical butler do your ironing is a pretty fun idea, it’s hardly practical. Instead, the real gains in the work done by the Columbia team come from the ability to handle floppy, unpredictable objects, which will have applications outside the laundromat.
“Basically, we’re just saying that if you have an object that doesn’t have a rigid set of states, you have to have a way to model it and deal with is, and what we were able to do is model these objects in a very nice way and figure it out,” said Peter Allen, a professor of computer science at Columbia who co-authored the paper.
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