The 1960s cartoon show “The Jetsons” was an imagination of the future, following a middle-class family and their robot housekeeper, Rosey.
Although the show is set in 2062, in the year 2023, robots are making a significant jump in helping humans around the home. Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh have determined a new way to train robots to help with chores.
Going beyond the autonomous robot vacuums that are already helping humans keep their floors clean, these machines are able to complete other tasks such as picking up laundry and putting it in a basket, explains CTV science and technology expert Dan Riskin. But the “context” around the chore, such as identifying the colour of the item or where it goes, may be hard to program, he said.
“All those little minute things that you do in your head when you’re cleaning a house apparently have been beyond the grasp of robots,” Riskin told CTV’s Your Morning on Monday.
But technology has taken a huge step forward, Riskin says, allowing some robots to learn how to open the fridge, cut vegetables, and take out the garbage.
How these robots are being trained is “key” to rapid development, Riskin said.
“They’re not building new robots here, they’re teaching the robots differently. So what they’ve done is they’ve leveraged the newest artificial intelligence (AI), and videos of people doing tasks, so the robots watch videos, and then they figure it out,” he said.
According to Riskin, the robot can then “play around” at home to understand where items are and complete tasks.
As these advancements continue, Riskin says they open the door for further learning to complete more complicated tasks such as putting groceries away.
“What we’re talking about is teaching robots to figure things out themselves and that’s been the missing piece,” Riskin said.
To watch the full interview click the video at the top of this article.