Robots tend to do things a little differently. Though folding rectangular towels was a breeze for the Willow Garage’s PR2 programmable robot, UC Berkeley researchers had a bit more trouble coaxing it to match socks. A video (below) of their unconventional technique won a $10,000 prize from Willow Garage.
The trickiness comes from getting the sock right side out. The researchers decided to use a dowel, making otherwise clean laundry seem, well, a little dirty.