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Robots make sausages for breakfast

When robots take over the world, at least we know they'll be able to make us a traditional sausage sandwich breakfast to give our stomachs something to gnaw on as we fret about the fate of humanity.

To prove their cooking skills, James, a PR2 robot built by U.S. robotics firm Willow Garage recently traveled to Germany to hook up with Rosie, a Technical University of Munich-designed robot, for the high-tech cooking session.


Both robots take advantage of recent technological advances such as Kinect sensors (sold by Microsoft, a partner in the msnbc.com joint venture) to detect objects such as the bread slicer and help fish out boiled sausages.

This isn't the first time James and Rosie have put their circuits together to appease their human handlers. Last year, they made pancakes.

Nor are robots simply good at chores in the kitchen. The National Science Foundation is taking heat from U.S. congressional leaders for its investment in a PR2 robot that folds towels, for example.

And we've known about Roomba, the vacuuming robot, for years. Now its makers, iRobot, this year introduced Scooba, a robot that does the thankless task of cleaning up gunk around the toilet.

Hmm, maybe the idea of robots taking over the world – or least household chores – isn't that bad after all.


Tip o' the Log to IEEE

John Roach is a contributing writer for msnbc.com. Connect with the Cosmic Log community by hitting the "like" button on the Cosmic Log Facebook page or following msnbc.com's science editor, Alan Boyle, on Twitter (@b0yle).