Not happy with only teaching a robot how to iron their towels, Darwin G. Caldwell, Sylvain Calinon, and Peter Kormushev at the Italian Institute of Technology taught a robot how to flip pancakes. Pancakes instead of pizza? You make-a you mamma cry.
The skill is first demonstrated through kinesthetic teaching, where the user grasps and moves the robot to provide an initial example of flipping the pancake. [Ed.- It's totally like that scene in Ghost, with "Unchained Melody" playing and everything.] After 50 trials, the robot learns that the first part of the task requires a stiff movement to throw the pancake in the air and make it flip, while the second part requires the hand to be compliant in order to catch the pancake without having it bounce off the pan. [MAKE]
Afterward, the robot commented, “Can you untape this frying pan from my wrist now? This tape is chafing — er, I mean DOES NOT COMPUTE. PC LOAD LETTER.”