Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Robot tells human off for doing it wrong

The video below shows a scenario that is likely to become real as industrial robots improve: a human and a robot work together to assemble an object from its parts. But in the clip from the University of Minho, Portugal, not everything is going to plan. The human gets a stern warning from the robot that they are doing it wrong.

The pair are assembling a foam chassis with two wheels. Although the robot has already attached the wheel on its side of the chassis, the human offers it another. The robot - ARoS - is not impressed.

"Ah! you want to give me a wheel. I have already inserted the wheel on my side."

When the human makes another mistake - offering it a bolt the robot doesn't need - the robot again refuses. It also points out that the human needs it for himself.

Industrial robots today are essentially dumb and dangerous - and must be kept separate from people. Having them work directly with humans could speed up all kinds of processes. But they need to be able to understand what their biological colleagues are doing - and perhaps make some small talk too. When the chassis is built ARoS declares: "I enjoyed your help! I hope to work again with you."

Most importantly, they need to be safe. Check out this previous story about a robot that can tell when it has accidentally hit a human.

Tom Simonite, online technology editorLabels: robots, video

Posted by Tom at 5:55 PM

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