DARPA's Atlas robot can respond to disasters, and the US Navy's SAFFiR can put out fires, but what about robots that can perform the necessary but mundane tasks of daily life? MIT's Personal Robotics Group is attempting to answer that question with its Sartorial Robotics project, whose goal is to "enhance the social aspects of human-robotic interaction."
Autonomous zipper control
One of Sartorial Robotics' inventions is the Zipperbot, a small wearable robot capable of opening and closing zippers. When charged, the bot can scurry up and down and around contours. It's still a little too large to fit on your average pants fly, but it may be useful for certain labor uniforms like hazmat suits or spacesuits.
Popular Mechanics says the robot will come in handy when you don't want to "fumble with your coat zipper while you've got your winter gloves on," which begs the question: Who's putting their gloves on before their coat?