This robot uses lasers to point at things you've forgotten

This robot uses lasers to point at things you've forgotten

The human mind may be good at multitasking and forming habits, but that doesn't mean we're immune to mistakes when we go about our daily routine.

Technology is striking yet again with a solution in the form of the Watch-Bot - a silent-observing robot that learns everyday actions and, through machine learning, actually points out when you've forgotten something.

Presented as part of the International Conference on Robotics and Automation by researchers from Cornell and Stanford, the Watch-Bot is comprised of a second-generation Kinect sensor attached to a tripod-mounted camera, laptop and laser pointer.

The team tested the robot across eight offices and five kitchens, where it recorded data and established a baseline of normal behavior in those environments, such as preparing food, reading a book, or grabbing a glass of milk from the fridge.

Once someone fails to perform an action completely - be it forgetting to take food out of the microwave or not putting a book back on the shelf - the Watch-Bot shines the laser pointer at the site of the error, "reminding" those nearby that something is amiss.

Researchers write in their official study that the Watch-Bot's setup "can be easily deployed on any assistive robot," which opens up a range of practical uses for the machine besides passive-aggresively reminding you to do the dishes.

This could potentially include assisting the memory of those struggling with neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's, or increase safety in hazardous job sites where absent-mindedness carries dangerous consequences.

Parker Wilhelm
Parker Wilhelm is a freelance writer for TechRadar. He likes to tinker in Photoshop and talk people's ears off about Persona 4.