Robots learn from each other on 'Wiki for robots'

Jan 13, 2014
Robots learn from each other on 'Wiki for robots'

Now it's not just people – robots are also connected by internet thanks to RoboEarth. Next week, after four years of research, scientists at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), Philips and four other European universities will present this online platform through which robots can learn new skills from each other worldwide – a kind of 'Wikipedia for robots'. This brings the development of robots that can carry out caring or household tasks a big step closer.

The greying population means there is an urgent future need for robots to take over caring or . To enable robots to successfully lend a mechanical helping hand, they need to be able to deal flexibly with new situations and conditions. For example you can teach a robot to bring you a cup of coffee in the living room, but if some of the chairs have been moved the robot won't be able to find you any longer. Or it may get confused if you've just bought a different set of coffee cups.

Worldwide sharing

"The problem right now is that robots are often developed specifically for one task", says René van de Molengraft, TU/e researcher and RoboEarth project leader. "Everyday changes that happen all the time in our environment make all the programmed actions unusable. But RoboEarth simply lets robots learn new tasks and situations from each other. All their knowledge and experience are shared worldwide on a central, online database. As well as that, computing and 'thinking' tasks can be carried out by the system's 'cloud engine', so the robot doesn't need to have as much computing or battery power on‑board."

Opening a box

It means, for example, that a robot can image a hospital room and upload the resulting map to RoboEarth. Another , which doesn't know the room, can use that map on RoboEarth to locate a glass of water immediately, without having to search for it endlessly. In the same way a task like opening a box of pills can be shared on RoboEarth, so other robots can also do it without having to be programmed for that specific type of box.

Explore further: The robot "Athena" carries new impulses for robotics research in its luggage

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Thanks to RoboEarth the bots can learn on their own

Feb 10, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- We tend to assume that robots need human input in order to understand the world around them. In the near future humans may not even be a part of the robotic-learning equation. Soon, robots ...

Cloud-computing platform for robots launched

Mar 11, 2013

(Phys.org) —Researchers of five European universities have developed a cloud-computing platform for robots. The platform allows robots connected to the Internet to directly access the powerful computational, storage, and ...

NEC introduces the PaPeRo petit robot

Nov 13, 2013

(Phys.org) —Japan's portfolio of robot creations has become well known as a versatile one that includes personal home robots which, in appearance as well as functions, can motivate humans to like spending ...

Kilobots bring us one step closer to a robot swarm

Jun 17, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- When you think about robots, the odds are that you think about something that is fairly large. Maybe you picture a robot arms bolted to the floor of a factory or if you are feeling particularly ...

Robots get social network of their very own (no kidding)

Dec 22, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- This will for some robot-alarmists seem like the last straw. For robot enthusiasts though it will seem more like refreshing innovation. A technology site says it is time to see robots expressing ...

Recommended for you

Q&A: Drones might help show how tornados form (Update)

5 hours ago

Researchers say they've collected promising weather data by flying instrument-laden drones into big Western and Midwestern storms. Now they want to expand the project in hopes of learning more about how tornados ...

First steps for Hector the robot stick insect

Dec 16, 2014

A research team at Bielefeld University has succeeded in teaching the only robot of its kind in the world how to walk. Its first steps have been recorded in a video. The robot is called Hector, and its construction ...

Getting bot responders into shape

Dec 16, 2014

Sandia National Laboratories is tackling one of the biggest barriers to the use of robots in emergency response: energy efficiency.

Robot 'shadow hand'

Dec 12, 2014

Picking up an apple is one of those jobs requiring the delicate touch of the human hand – or its robotic counterpart.

Two robots, one challenge, endless possibility

Dec 11, 2014

To the theme song of "2001: A Space Odyssey," a robot with a twisty spine rolled toward Thomas Rosenbaum, the new president of the California Institute of Technology, on Oct. 24, as he stood on a stage at ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

wealthychef
not rated yet Jan 13, 2014
Skynet

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.