Robot servants that know what you want without being told

Imagine this: you’ve become the slightest bit parched and you have an empty glass. There’s a full bottle of beverage just waiting to be poured into your cup — but it’s so far. Besides, pouring is a servant’s job, anyway.
Thankfully, Cornell University has recently furnished you with a robot servant. And while robots of one sort or another have been around since the 1980s, this one is new.
You needn’t call out to your new robot like some sort of commoner. No, no — just reach out for the bottle and your robot butler will predict your desire for more liquid in your glass. Then, like a good servant, it will scoot on over, pour your drink for you, and then stare blankly at you, awaiting your next whim.
Such is the vision of Cornell’s Ashutosh Saxena, assistant professor of computer science. To accomplish this dream, Saxena and his team have armed a humanoid robot with a Kinect 3D camera and a library of 3D videos that exemplify common human habits. Habits like drinking coffee, for instance.
The idea is that the robot will record further videos of you completing tasks about the house and build a "vocabulary" of actions. Once this vocabulary is broad enough, the robot will be able to complete more complex tasks on its own.