Robots learn from Youtube

Screen Shot 2015-01-13 at 14.28.53It’s not just people
that are addicted to Youtube, according to a group of scientists from the University of Maryland.
They are teaching robots by getting them to watch online cooking videos.
The scientists say they, together with an Australian research institute, are developing robotic systems that can teach themselves.
The online cooking videos help them to learn intricate grasping and manipulation movements.
The researchers said they’ve achieved a milestone in robotic autodidactism by combining artificial intelligence, computer vision; and natural language processing.
Yiannis Alimonos, a professor of computer science said the team selected cooking videos “because everyone has done it and understands it.”
But, he continued, “cooking is complex in terms of manipulation, the steps involved and the tools you use”.
The professor said other researchers had tried to copy movements, but the team is copying the goals, letting robots decide how to combine actions.  The algorithm use deep learning neural networks, which are now practical because of the vast increase in computing power and performance.