Wired reports that robots of the future will be capable of learning more complex behaviours than ever before if a new, pan-European research project succeeds in its goal of developing the world’s first architecture for advanced robotic motor skills.
If successful, the four-year AMARSi (Adaptive Modular Architecture for Rich Motor Skills) project (which started this month) could see a manufacturing world filled with autonomous, intelligent humanoid worker bots that can learn new skills by interacting with their co-workers. It could also see a society with personal carer bots capable of quickly adapting to complex environments and changing human needs.
If the researchers are successful, the 7 million euro, EU-funded project will enable humanoid (and quadruped) bots to autonomously learn and develop motor skills in open-ended environments in the same way humans do — by learning from the data provided by movement and essentially rewiring their circuits to process and store the new knowledge they’ve acquired.
The team will test their designs on two bots: the humanoid, infant iCub [picture is shown], developed by the RobotCub Consortium, and the four-legged Cheetah, created by the Biorobotics Lab at EPFL in Switzerland.
The AMARSi Integrated Project aims at a qualitative jump toward biological richness of robotic motor skills. By richness we mean the systemic integration of motor primitives into a large repertoire of mo- tor behavior, ranging across the entire hierarchy from simple periodic and aperiodic motions to complex, task-oriented interaction sequences between a robot and a human caretaker.
UC Santa Cruz Exoskeleton Arms
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