Training Service Robots for the “Mainstream”

TREND #3 For decades people have envisioned service robots in health care and the home, yet the closest we’ve come are Level III self-driving cars, robot vacuums, an occasional robot bartender, and some pilot projects in hospitals. The biggest problem is the complexity of real-world service environments and the nuances of training a robot to deal with real-world service scenarios. Fortunately, researchers are making steady progress toward creating robots that can be cost-effectively trained to perform real-world service tasks. What is happening on the leading-edge of robotics and what does this portend for commercialization in the coming years? Consider some key examples. Imagine if robots could learn from simply watching demonstrations. That would enable us to show a home-care robot...

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