Taxpayer-Funded Science Foundation Spends $1.5 Million Building Robot That Takes 25 Minutes To Fold a Towel


Was Rosie on the robo-dole?

Your tax dollars (not) at work: ABC News reports on a stupid-government-spending investigation into the National Science Foundation produced by Sen. Tom Coburn:

You've probably heard of shrimp on the barbie, but what about shrimp on a treadmill?

The National Science Foundation has, and it spent $500,000 of taxpayer money researching it. It's not entirely clear what this research hoped to establish.

But it's one of a number of projects cited in a scathing new report from Sen. Tom Coburn, a Republican from Oklahoma, exclusively obtained by ABC News.

It's not just shrimp on a treadmill. The foundation spent $1.5 million to create a robot that can fold laundry. But before you try to buy one to save some time, consider that it takes the robot 25 minutes to fold a single towel.

Among the report's other lowlights? The NSF spent money on a "study suggesting playing FarmVille on Facebook helps adults develop and maintain relationships" and "a grant to produce songs about science including a rap called 'Money 4 Drugz,' and a misleading song titled 'Biogas is a Gas, Gas, Gas,'" both of which I would really like to hear. And not only did the investigation uncover "pervasive" porn surfing by the foundation's employees, it also found instances of "jellow wrestling and skinny-dipping at NSF-operated facilities in Antarctica." Sadly, no robots were involved. 

Read Coburn's full report here