Robot interacts with humans and adapts to its environment

MIT researchers recently demonstrated the capabilities of a robot named Domo, designed to interact with humans and adapt to its environment. Original funding for Domo came from NASA but the project is now supported by Toyota. Intelligent robots could work together with people to make workers more productive and save manufacturing jobs from being sent overseas. Unlike its predecessors, Domo also has the ability to sense touch, necessary for safe interaction with humans. Aaron Edsinger, Domo's developer for the past three years, explained how springs in its arms, hands and neck can sense force, allowing it to respond appropriately. Pushing its hand will make it move in the direction of the push. Too much force or moving Domo's arms in the wrong direction will produce a vocal response of "ouch."

A recent demonstration showed off Domo's voice recognition capabilities and its ability to understand tasks such as verifying the existence of a shelf, deducing the size of an object by making optical measurements, figuring out how to handle the object between its hands and finally placing the object on the shelf. Domo's "eyes" (a pair of video cameras connected to 12 computers) are especially sensitive to human faces and it (he?) can also use them to sense its surroundings. The cameras are built into remarkably human-looking "eyeballs," for a reason, said Edsinger: "I found that, by making them immediately understandable as eyes, it was very easy to read [Domo's] eye-gaze direction, which is important when working with it. They also greatly increase people's comfort level with the robot."

Link: Forum Discussion (Thanks Hum)
View: Domo and Edsinger
News source: MSNBC

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what people don't see is that if people give robots intelligence and the ability to think, once the technology becomes as good as a human brain or better, we're already dead. even if we put security restrictions on them, they'll find out how to disable them if they're as smart and versatile as humans. just like many people are able to escape restraints, they will be able to. except: they likely won't react to pain etc like we do. just makes things worse. see?

That's why you program everything within reason. For instance, a war machine that is able to determine a friend or foe in combat shouldn't be given the choice to fire at a friendly target or not. Secondly, they should all still be monitored, and there should always be a fail-safe mechanism in case something truly does go wrong. I believe with this kind of technology, we may one day be able to control the battlefield from base while having remote controlled vehicles carry out the hard jobs that would normally cost us lives.

Do not let Science-Fiction scare you.