Who doesn’t mind having a helping hand at home? But, would you be comfortable with a helping claw instead?
Cornell’s Personal Robotics Lab has trained a robot to foresee one’s subsequent set of actions, based on his current activities. With a database of around 120 household activities fed as 3D videos , the robot shall observe and identify one’s activity with his Microsoft Kinect 3D camera and then anticipate what he might do in the next few seconds.
So, basically, Rob (that’s just what I decided to call it!) shall observe your body movements, match your activity to all the videos in his brain, and then guess your next most probable move. He will of course be racing his mind to keep guessing your every next move based on each and every action of yours!
Well, so let’s presume that one day in the future, it is super easy for everyone to bring a Rob home . You happily get him home too and train him to assist you in all your daily household chores. You are glad that you don’t even have to ask him to pour more coffee in your cup or help you throw the garbage out! And then, one fine evening, as you are clearing off the food from your table, you move the left-over pasta to an air-tight container and proceed to move towards the refrigerator. Seeing you coming forward in the direction of the refrigerator, Rob quickly moves too, to open the fridge door before you reach it.Only at that moment, you realize how you almost forgot to make that important call and retrace your steps immediately, leaving poor Rob holding the fridge door wide open 😦
Poor Rob! But, you are not even thinking about that. You are busy talking to someone on the phone,trying to fix an appointment for the next day and you are irritated because they can’t seem to understand English! You look up and find Rob standing right infront of you, waiting to predict your next move. You are walking in circles, angry and impatient. You take a seat when the call is put on hold, randomly start scribbling something on the notepad, and suddenly decide to get up and walk to the kitchen. What do you think Rob is doing? Following you, of course! He is as confused as anyone could be. How do you think he will “read your mind” when you are being so unpredictable?
How would you feel to be living with someone who aids you in maintaining your house, but can neither speak nor connect to you? (though we cannot rule out the possibility of robos conversing with you fluently soon!) You cannot talk to him or vent out your anger at him . You cannot even ask him to undo the mess he might have created because he failed to correctly predict your uncertain moves!
Aarghh!!Wouldn’t having a human at home been much better?? What do you think? Are you read to meet your new assistant, Mr.Rob?