Baxter the robot shows he is friendly, but not much good at Connect Four


The video above, via The Guardian, shows Australian Centre for Robotic Vision demonstrating the visual ability of Baxter, a robot fitted with cameras in its head and wrists.

The hope is that in another decade or so such robots will operate side-by-side with humans in "unorganised environments" such as orchards, rather than being restricted to ordered factory floors which are unsafe for humans to enter.

Baxter was developed by Australian robotics inventor and entrepreneur Rodney Allen Brooks and designed to work with humans.

As Cosmos reported last year in Social robots are coming

Baxter requires no programming and learns on the job, much as humans do. If you want it to pick an item from a conveyor belt, scan it and place it with others in a box, you grasp its mechanical hand and guide it through the entire routine. It works out what you mean it to do and goes to work. Baxter is cute too. Its face is an electronic screen, dominated by big, expressive cartoon eyes. When its sonar detects someone entering a room, it turns and looks at them, raising its virtual eyebrows. When Baxter picks something up, it looks at the arm it’s about to move, signalling to co-workers what it’s going to do. When Baxter is confused, it raises an eyebrow and shrugs.

He's not very good at Connect Four, though, as you can see.

 

  1. http://www.theguardian.com/technology/video/2015/mar/10/robot-baxter-queensland-university-technology-video
  2. https://cosmosmagazine.com/special-edition-robots-and-ai/social-robots-are-coming
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