Robots That Learn Through Demonstration Instead of Programming
Neil Dantam at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta and colleagues are developing a system in which robots learn by example. Instead of programming a robot to carry out a task, a demonstration could suffice.
However, the robot does not simply mimic the human’s actions. The prototype system uses an Xbox Kinect camera to observe the human performing an activity, then breaks that activity into a sequence of key actions necessary to carry out the task.
These actions are converted into a general set of instructions – much like those found in an IKEA furniture instruction manual – that can be interpreted even by non-humanoid robots. “You want to somehow capture the important aspects of the human’s motion and transfer that to the robot,” says Dantam. “Think about how you’d tell someone how to make a cake,” he says. The way people follow those steps may vary. “An adult might bend down over the counter to work while a child may stand on tiptoes.”
(via Robot learns using IKEA-style instructions - tech - 10 October 2012 - New Scientist)