A staggering number of pioneering scientific advances emerge from Berkeley, as we document from time to time. But it seems that the advance the world was waiting for is a towel-folding robot, which we pointed to in a slightly off-hand manner last week.

In my persistent search on Google News and Twitter for mentions of Berkeley, the one item that keeps cropping up is that clever robot. Today it seems to have excited Brazil. UC Chancellor Mark Yudof is tweeting and Facebooking about it. The YouTube video is up to a quarter of a million views. It’s been picked up by the BBC, Wired, USA Today, The Daily Telegraph and on and on.

So back by popular demand:

*FTW means “for the win”. It’s a common text messaging or instant messaging expression of enthusiasm.

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Lance Knobel (Berkeleyside co-founder) has been a journalist for nearly 40 years. Much of his career was in business journalism. He was editor-in-chief of both Management Today, the leading business magazine...