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Is Rosie the household robot in your future?

Narrator: This is Science Today. Remember Rosie the household robot from the animated sitcom "The Jetsons?" Well, that kind of sci-fi scenario is not really that far off. At the University of California, Berkeley, robotics expert Ken Goldberg is exploring how robots can enhance the work of humans.

Goldberg: How can we have robots that can work side by side with humans, can share responsibilities, can help assist them, can do things. And there's a huge amount of interesting applications especially in health care and things like surgery. But there's also things like companions that can we start to develop robots that won't replace human touch, but could, for example, help out someone and help them live in their home longer than they could have otherwise.

Narrator: Goldberg's team has already demonstrated a robot that can fold laundry and they are now working to develop a robot that helps surgeons with subtasks.

Goldberg: The techniques that we're developing, we hope will be applied not only to doing surgery, those kinds of subtasks, but also doing things like folding laundry, like picking up objects around the house, grasping securely, etc.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.