Till now, scientists have been teaching robots, at least the kind that are meant to help you around the house, one thing at a time: how to find your keys, pour a drink, put away dishes. But what's a robot to do when it doesn't know something? Go on the internet, of course!


Robo Brain is a large-scale computational system that learns from publicly available Internet resources. It is currently downloading and processing about 1 billion images, 120,000 YouTube videos, and 100 million how-to documents and appliance manuals, says Phys.org. The information is being translated and stored in a robot-friendly format that robots will be able to draw on when they need it. Think of Robo Brain as a Google for your robot. It was developed by researchers at Cornell, Stanford and Brown Universities along with UC Berkeley.

How robots learn is fascinating:


The system employs what computer scientists call "structured deep learning," where information is stored in many levels of abstraction. An easy chair is a member of the class of chairs, and going up another level, chairs are furniture. Robo Brain knows that chairs are something you can sit on, but that a human can also sit on a stool, a bench or the lawn.

A robot's brain makes its own chain and looks for what it wants in this gigantic knowledge base. Amazing. [Phys.org]