Carnegie Mellon's HERB Masters Critical Oreo Separation Task

Monday, March 11, 2013

Finally a robot we can all relate to. This robot's name is HERB, and he lives at Carnegie Mellon University, where he's been taught to separate the cookie from the creme. He might be made of servos and cameras, but clearly he loves one part of the OREO more than the other.
The Robotics Institute’s Home Exploring Robot Butler, better known as HERB, is featured in a new YouTube video that is part of Oreo’s ongoing “Cookie vs. Creme” campaign. The video, shot in the Personal Robotics Lab in Newell-Simon Hall, debuted March 8th and is quickly going viral.

Carnegie Mellon has produced a “behind the scenes” video regarding HERB’s video shoot for Oreo.

HERB, a two-armed, mobile robot, twists an Oreo apart and scrapes off what it humorously terms “the precious creme” in the video, the fourth and final “Oreo Separator” machine in the online series. Siddharta Srinivasa, associate professor of robotics, and Pras Velagapudi, project scientist, play prominent roles as well.

HERB Separates OREOs

“Cookie vs. Creme” was launched with the “Whisper Fight” commercial during this year’s Super Bowl broadcast. Three machines were custom-made for the humorous, online “Oreo Separator” series; HERB was the only research robot re-purposed for the videos.

Normally, HERB serves as the research platform of the Personal Robotics Lab, which is directed by Srinivasa. HERB is a testbed for algorithms, software and other technology that will enable robots to perform challenging manipulation tasks in places where people live and work.

It is a project of the Quality of Life Technology Center, a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center dedicated to applying robotic and information technologies to the everyday lives of people. The center is jointly operated by Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh.
HERB had to learn to be "delicate and precise," with the Oreo cookies
HERB had to learn to be "delicate and precise," with the Oreo cookies


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