Illustration for article titled Robo Brain Is Google For Robots

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 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. []

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