Broadening the horizons of Robots

A robot does not respond to something that it cannot identify. Scientists from Vienna wish to change this by enabling the robots to become curious.

Robots usually have the ability to perform specified tasks in a particular environment with excellent efficiency and quickness but the German news agency explains their lack of understanding in the absence of these instructions. In order to be able to respond under such circumstances, robots require autonomous operation and curiosity.

Markus Vincze is leading a team of researchers from the Vienna University of Technology and they are currently working on an FWF funded project that aims to enable robots for expanding their horizons.

Once the picture of a particular body is fed into the robotic system, it has to make a 3D model of it in order to be able to touch and lift the body.

The main focus of the Vienna Research Institute is to focus on the response of the robot when it is unable to identify an object or to see what happens when a picture from the database of the robot does not find any match. This means that robots must be taught what it has not been taught and doesn’t know.

In this case, the machine has to form a picture by itself of the thing and look it up on the internet.

Researchers have improved search algorithms gradually by relying on images that were already available and their definitions in Google. The researchers collaborated with Italian, French and British partners to experiment with a machine that was designed to do the chores in old people’s homes, called the HOBBIT robot.

The robot was tested using ten different gadgets on the desktop. They found out that it was more successful when the object to be looked for was present closer to things that were fitting the same subject.