3 of 11Image
iCub learning robot
Like Kaspar, iCub (pictured) takes his cues from children. In this case, however, the idea is to look at techniques for learning in robots.
iCub starts life with basic pre-programmed knowledge, such as how to move, detect motion and recognise simple voice commands. He can also recognise unnamed 'blobs'. Building on this, researchers can teach iCub what certain items are — in the case of the picture above, an octopus and a block. They can then direct him to distinguish between items and to pick up specific objects. In doing this, he learns about his own abilities and how to interact with the world around him.
As iCub is a main product of RobotCub, his software is open source and will run on either Windows or Linux systems. An emulator is available to download from the project home page, Lorenzo Natale, senior researcher at the Italian Institute of Technology, which developed this iCub, told ZDNet UK. More than 20 copies of the robot have been built to date, he noted.
Photo credit: Ben Woods