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12 Surprisingly Human Things Robots Can Do

For centuries, humans and robots have been a great double-act - so much so that we’re rubbing off on our machine pals. For more great partnerships take a #LookInside Intel's 2 in 1 devices..

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1. Play football

Michel Porro / Getty Images

The Robocup is more complex than just robots playing football: it aims to promote robotics and AI research, by making the robots do relatable things. This information is shared amongst the bot-builders so that they can build even more complex and humanoid robots in the future.

The original idea was even better — the winning robots would be put in a team and pitted against human World Cup winners.

3. Play rock, paper, scissors (with a 100% winning rate)

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OK, maybe this one is super-human. This little fella was built by the Ishikawa Oku Laboratory to show how robots and humans can work together.

As long as the human isn't a sore loser, that is.

4. Look at pictures of cats on the internet / Via

A secret lab was working on a “deep learning” robot — a robot that could go online and teach itself about the world. And what did the robot teach itself to do? Look at pictures of cats on the internet.

When unsupervised, it went to YouTube and taught itself to recognise pictures of cats. Which is pretty much what you do when you're left alone at work.

5. Whoop you at air hockey / Via

While we all know that robots can play chess, have you heard about the robot who can beat anyone at air hockey? Robot fan Jose Julio built the AHRobot out of 3D printed parts as an unbeatable partner to keep his air hockey-loving daughter entertained.

6. Empathise and make you feel better

Portal/Valve Corporation/ / Via

A Cambridge University professor has built an 'emotionally intelligent' bot that can read your emotions and act accordingly.

The idea is it's going to be used in Sat Nav systems to help beat road rage, but what we really want to see is a kettle that makes you a cuppa when you're down…

7. Create art

Robo Faber is a robot programmed by developer Matthias Dörfelt. The drawings are created by an algorithm developed to mimic the sort of shapes humans draw when bored. You can check out some more of the robot's strangely beautiful pictures here. Lots of tentacles.

8. Be your friend / Via

Kirobo isn't just another spacebot — it was designed to keep astronauts company in space. Kirobo is programmed to recognise voices and faces as well as speech patterns so that it can hold 'conversations' and talk back to you.

9. Scoop up POOP

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The team at the University of Pennsylvania's GRASP lab have made every pet owner's dream come true: a robot that automatically recognises and cleans up Potentially Offensive Objects for Pickup (POOP). Once the POOP has been located it will be swept cleanly away. It can clear 12 POOPs in 20 minutes. Go to 0.23 to see it in action.

The bad news: it'll set you back $400,000.

10. Build things / Via

These TERMES bots programmed by the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences are taught specific building rules — like where to put certain shaped bricks. They can be left alone to construct structure because they're building autonomously — in the same way that termites build a hill.

11. Sort laundry like a pro

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This robot built by UC Berkeley Ph.D. student Jeremy Maitin-Shepard and Professor Pieter Abbeel has been trained to sort and fold laundry. Which is one awful job off your to-do list.

12. Everything you couldn't do in PE class / Via

Atlas was built by DARPA and Boston Dynamics to compete in DARPA's Virtual Robotics Challenge — a public contest with a $2 million grand prize.

What can Atlas do? Everything. It can tackle treadmills, run assault courses and dodge objects.

He's basically a robotic super-fit gym bunny.

Want to see what else robots can do? To showcase the potential of Intel tablets, Intel collaborated with Flume:

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Watch the video to see the tablet-powered instruments come to life to perform an especially composed track. For more Inspired Innovation that's changing the world #LookInside the world of Intel.