A robot called Boris unveiled today will be loading dishwashers by next year, its developers claim.
Boris took five years to build at a cost of £350,000.
The robot "sees" objects with sensors on its face and wrists. In 10 seconds it calculates up to a thousand possible ways to grasp an object with its five robotic fingers and plans a path of arm movements to reach its target, avoiding obstructions.
"It's not been programmed to pick it up - it's been programmed to learn how to pick it up," explained Professor Wyatt from the University of Birmingham.
"The idea is to get the robot to load your dishwasher."
"You get a bunch of objects off a table, scattered as you might have them on a kitchen surface, and the robot will look through the set of objects, find one it wants to pick up, figure out where to put it in the dishwasher, and load it," said Professor Wyatt.
Why has Boris been assigned kitchen duties?
"It's a typical task that humans engage in. So by putting that into a robot, we hope to make the robots more flexible in future."