The robot that will fold your laundry. And a remarkable athletic team: India and Pakistan, together

Since I was a kid, we’ve been hearing about the day that robots will take over the world, and make our lives so much easier.

So far, I’ve seen nothing from these “creatures.” Bubkes, as my grandmother used to say. They’re not driving us anywhere, they’re not bringing us food, and they’re not offering any kind of human feelings.

But wait! say some Cal-Berkeley researchers. News came out last week that they have now developed (wait for it) a robot that can accurately pair AND fold socks.

“The new robot can determine whether a sock is inside out based on its texture, flipping it if necessary and pairing it with its match, Berkeley professor Pieter Abbeel says. Check out the video here.

This is awesome. Finally, a useful robot. I’ve got like 11 unmatched socks in my drawer right now, and no robot to help me.
And dammit, my birthday just passed! There’s always Hanukkah to look forward to; hint, hint, wife and mother-in-law!

P.S. Yes, that’s Johnny Five, the robot from the 80s classic movie “Short Circuit” in the photo above. That film was some of Steve Guttenberg’s finest work.

**Doubles gets very little attention in tennis. Very few people watch it live, the matches are very rarely shown on television, and even though most recreational players like myself play a ton of doubles, we’re just not that interested in it.

But there’s a remarkable story being written at the U.S. Open right now, and today it has its conclusion. Rohan Bopanna is a tennis player from India. Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi is from Pakistan.
They’ve been a doubles team for several years now on the pro tour, but they’re having the best tournament of their lives in New York, having reached the U.S. Open men’s doubles final.
It’s an incredible story, replete with their slogan (“Stop War, Start Tennis”) and a beautiful message about what athletics can do.
We see and hear so much garbage and nonsense in sports, and are often told that games don’t matter. But Wednesday, the U.N. ambassadors from the two often-bitter rival nations sat together and watched a tennis match at the Open.

Amazing. Truly amazing. I hope they win today. It would be good for the world, I think. And you can’t say that every day.

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One response to “The robot that will fold your laundry. And a remarkable athletic team: India and Pakistan, together

  1. Seriously, where the heck is my “Rosie” the robot to clean my house and cook me dinner? And I’m still waiting for my flying car too.

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