There are two typical ways to train a robot today: you can have it watch repeated demonstrations of what you want it to do or you can program its movements directly using motion-planning techniques. But a team of researchers from MIT’s CSAIL lab have developed a hybridized third option that will enable robots to transfer skills and knowledge between themselves. It’s no Skynet, but it’s a start.
The system, dubbed C-LEARN, is designed to enable anybody, regardless of their programming know-how, to program robots for a wide range of tasks. But rather than having the robot ape your movements or hand-coding its desired movements, C-LEARN only requires that the user input a birt of information on how the objects the robot will interact with are typically handled then run through a single demonstration. The robot can then share this kinematic data with others of its kind.