Mess cleaning robot: real or fake? (w/ video)

March 30th, 2011 by Katie Gatto in Technology / Other

(PhysOrg.com) -- The Internet is a world full of wonders to explore. Some of them are real, and some of them are not. If you love the mystery of figuring out which new toys are for real, and which ones are elaborate scams, then do I have a puzzle for you.

Its is called the SWITL. If the video and rumors turn out to be true, it is a kind of cleaning bot that can lift up messy gooey stains without any trouble. Oddly enough, the video also shows the machine putting the stains back down, though I can't imagine why anyone would want to do that.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

Adding to the mystery is the fact that the company that is supposed to be behind the SWITL, Furukawa Kikou, has not released even a speck of data about this machine. This could be because the company is waiting on a patent, or it could be because the machine simply does not exist. At this point we really don't know.

The shows what is supposed to be a ketchup and mayonnaise glob on a table. The table space is smeared with the substances and the tray goes to work, picking it up in a single slide. So, let's break down the plausibility. When you look at that table surface, we have no clue what it is. It is clearly completely smooth, with no grout or texture at all. This isn't very likely in most situations. Home, and professional kitchens are usually tiled, for easy clean up, and a machine like this one would actually push items into the grout depressions. On a metal table, it would likely create scratch marks and grooves.

Now, take a good look at the goo. In the videos last pick up and drop off, the "mayonnaise" inherits a series of streaks at the back end, farthest from the camera. As the belt lowers them off, there are times where the streaks are on neither the belt nor the table, yet they remain completely rigid and in tact. Not even a slight wobble or bend. This sandwich lover has never seen mayonnaise act like that.

So, sleuths, what do you think?

More information: furukawakiko.com/tech/page285.html

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"Mess cleaning robot: real or fake? (w/ video)." March 30th, 2011. http://phys.org/news/2011-03-mess-robot-real-fake-video.html