Robots with “vision” may soon work alongside humans, say researchers from Queensland, Australia. They have built a machine with hand-eye coordination, and the ability to process visual stimuli.
It makes the machine dramatically different from all robots built previously, said Professor Peter Corke, director of the Australian Centre for Robotic Vision, as quoted by AAP.
“We think this is critically important for robots to move out of factories and into all sorts of other domains. Baxter is perhaps the vanguard of this new wave of visually-enabled robots,” he added.
Currently, the machine called Baxter can distinguish basic colors and carry out simple tasks like picking a ripe fruit and vegetable, but “the real world is much more complex than that,” Corke noted, saying the technology is only in its infancy.
“That’s the central challenge. How do we take a picture of the world and interpret what’s in it.”
Corke said that ‘seeing’ is far more than just processing images – it’s a complex process tightly coupled to both memory and action, which gives robots the understanding they need to perform tasks that involve objects and places, while at the same time provide rapid and continuous feedback for control.
“The human visual system is fantastic at just tuning all that extraneous information out and you realize it’s the same building and you don’t even have to think about it, but to program a computer to do that is really very, very difficult,” he said, as quoted by Brisbane Times.
The technology will be tested in the agricultural sector in June.