Image of Blue's Arms
Blue's arms - about the size of a human bodybuilder's -- were designed to take advantage of recent advances in artificial intelligence to master intricate, human-centered tasks like folding towels. (Credit: Philip Downey)

Blue – a low-cost, human-friendly robot – was designed with durable, plastic parts and high-performance motors that total less than $5,000 to manufacture and assemble. Its arms are sensitive to outside forces — like a hand pushing it away — and have rounded edges and minimal pinch points. Blue is able to continually hold up 2 kilograms of weight with arms fully extended.