Self-developing, adaptive robots soon to be available – thanks to Darwin

humanoid_front

The iRobis Brainstorm® technology facilitates and accelerates the development of humanoid self-learning robots – like this little fella. HR-2 walks, talks, imitates and „evolves“. He is already 3 years old by now (he was a prototype developed within 3 months with help of the early Brainstorm® system), but the video about HR-2’s abilities is still worth watching. Want! [picture: Almir Heralic]

From the press release: „The Institute of Robotics in Scandinavia (iRobis) has announced that the world’s first “complete cognitive software system for robotics” is ready for application. The system turns robots into self-developing, adaptive, problem-solving, “thinking” machines. Brainstorm® automatically adapts to on-board sensors and actuators, immediately builds a model of any robot on which it is installed, and automatically writes control programs for the robot’s movements. It can then explore and model its environment. Through simulated interaction using these models, it solves problems and develops new behavior using “imagination.” Once it has “learned” to do something, it can use its imagination to adapt its behavior to a wide range of circumstances. A methodology known as genetic programming (GP) is “the trick” that makes it all possible. GP is an automated programming methodology inspired by natural evolution that is used to evolve computer programs.“

You can’t download their system right away – iRobis is rather looking for high-potential partners/companies/researchers with whom they can develop prototypes like toys or perhaps household robots. Please hurry – I really want some kind of little robot fella on my desktop or maybe a little bit larger so he can get me a coffee or pizza from the kitchen.

Here’s the full iRobis press release

Digg deeper: More information about the technology and history behind iRobis Brainstorm® by Roger F. Gay


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Making Computers Based on the Human Brain – BusinessWeek

„Thanks to advances in our understanding of biology, scientists believe they can model a new generation of computers on how the brain actually works—the microscopic chemical interactions and electrical impulses that translate sensations into knowledge and knowledge into decisions and actions. It’s a successor to the old ideas about artificial intelligence, and a handful of companies have initiatives under way, among them IBM (IBM) and Numenta, a Silicon Valley startup.“

From: Business Week http://ping.fm/B3GEb

Talking Avatars is a good thing [Future of Artificial Intelligence]

Traveling Windfairy in Meez

Traveling Windfairy (my alter ego)  in Meez

Talking avatars  instead of flat still pictures in IM, representing our real persona while conversing with others, will soon be rather the norm; enhance the animated figurines with AI (Artificial Intelligence) and you can survive the economic downturn by hiring 24/7 employees that never sleep and never complain: Talking Avatars with pre-scripted knowledge or even self-learning skills are in the works all over the worlds (post about it coming soon) and they can help out as greeters, talking FAQs, virtual trainers, sales representatives, entertainment characters or automated teachers and tour guides. Their workspace will be wherever real people go wearing an avatar – virtual worlds, virtual learning environments, 2.5 and 3D chat rooms and the 3D Web.

Freddie McMahon lists some of the movers and shakers for talking avatars in his blog.

via The Future of Artificial Intelligence: Competition for Talking Avatars Benefits from More Venture Capital Funding >>

Can robots become our ‚phriends‘?

„A friendly collaboration between humans and robots is not always easy. Either robots work efficiently and far from humans in controlled environments, or they’re equipped with lots of sensors to work along humans and not harm them. Now, a EU-funded project, Phriends — short for ‚Physical Human-Robot Interaction: DepENDability and Safety‘ — has started to force robots to respect Asimov’s laws. In a nutshell, these laws say that robots cannot cause harm to humans and that they have to obey us. This 3-year project will end next year and has received € 2.16 million from the EU. (…) The robots developed by Phriends will be intrinsically safe, since the safety is guaranteed by their very physical structure, and not by external sensors or algorithms that can fail. (…)“

Read the full article here: Can robots become our ‚phriends‘? >>

Sony Playstation: EyePet – Your Virtual Pet (coming in late 2009)

via Annie Ok : tangent » Sony Playstation: EyePet – Your Virtual Pet

Cute virtual pet for PS3, reacting in real-time to actions in front of the in-built camera „PlayStation Eye“. We are talking about consumer-friendly Augmented Reality here.

From the press release:

What makes a pet real? Introducing EyePet, the virtual pet that follows your every movement and command…(…) Working in ‘Augmented Reality’, EyePet is fully aware of people in the room and will interact with you and your environment. Place an object in front of the camera that EyePet hasn’t seen before and it’ll know exactly what to do with it, give it something new and it’ll examine it thoroughly. Tickle it by waving your fingers in front of the camera: it laughs, poke it: it jumps, roll it a ball: EyePet chases around the screen after it. (…)