University of Cincinnati researchers developed an autonomous robot that can open a door for itself. It uses an appendage on a simple motorized lift the robot can raise and lower to reach a door handle. A small arm at the base holds the door open while the robot pivots around it and carries on with its duties in the next room.
The current solution to recharging a robot is to install a docking station. When the robot runs low on power, it returns to its docking station. However, there cannot be a dock in every room.
The new robot can identify a wall outlet and insert the plug without human help.