Watch HERB the Robot Butler Take the Oreo Cookie Challenge

A team of researchers at Carnegie Mellon University programmed the bot to perform a delicate task

28 June 2017

This month as part of our special report on assistive technology we featured HERB (home-exploring research butler), a robot developed by Senior Member Siddhartha Srinivasa and his team the Personal Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, in Pittsburgh. The two-armed, three-wheeled robot is designed to help people with paralysis perform simple tasks around the home. It can, for example, unload a dishwasher or prepare simple meals.

In 2013 it was faced with a different, yet equally complicated task: separating an Oreo sandwich cookie without breaking it. Until that time, the cookie was the smallest and most delicate object that HERB had handled. Watch the video to see how HERB and his team of roboticists stand up to the challenge.

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