Learning Robot Going Through 'Terrible Twos'
A learning robot built at Iowa State University is being developed to learn like a human child; researchers are aiming for the learning capabilities of a human two-year old child. It was developed by assistant professor Alexander Stoytchev and a team of students.
The robot uses a series of tests to learn to recognize objects. Much like a child, it grabs, pushes, taps, shakes and drops (that sounds like two year-olds I've had in my own house) objects to learn about them. It can even try to mark them with a pencil, and then see if the surface of the object can be marked. I hope they 'child-proofed' their lab before turning it loose.
In a test with 22 different objects, it could successfully identify them 99% of the time after performing its testing sequence.
Take a look at this video to learn more; you can skip about 1 minute and 15 seconds in to get to the good parts.
(Iowa State learning robot video>)
The Iowa State learning robot has quite a wide variety of facial expressions as well; take a look at this shorter video to see the face of the robotic future.
(Iowa State learning robot video>)
I'm starting to have the feeling that robot researchers are getting tired of programming every last thing into their bots. Getting the robot to learn is a lot less effort - in the long run. Take a look at a
video of a robot learning to smile and a video of a robot chef learning to cook. Some researchers are even lazier than others; why not just start with actual brain neurons and let them do the learning? See a video of a living robot with a biological brain.
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