Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Human robot getting closer: iCub robot must learn from its experiences

Date:
September 27, 2013
Source:
University of Twente
Summary:
A robot that feels, sees and, in particular, thinks and learns like us. It still seems like science fiction, but new research hints that it could happen. Scientists are working to implement the cognitive process of the human brain in robots. A new humanoid will blur the boundaries between robot and human.

A robot that feels, sees and, in particular, thinks and learns like us. It still seems like science fiction, but if it's up to UT researcher Frank van der Velde, it won't be. In his work he wants to implement the cognitive process of the human brain in robots. The research should lead to the arrival of the latest version of the iCub robot in Twente. This human robot (humanoid) blurs the boundaries between robot and human.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Twente

A robot that feels, sees and, in particular, thinks and learns like us. It still seems like science fiction, but if it's up to University of Twente (UT) researcher Frank van der Velde, it won't be. In his work he wants to implement the cognitive process of the human brain in robots. The research should lead to the arrival of the latest version of the iCub robot in Twente. This human robot (humanoid) blurs the boundaries between robot and human.

Related Articles


Decades of scientific research into cognitive psychology and the brain have given us knowledge about language, memory, motor skills and perception. We can now use that knowledge in robots, but Frank van der Velde's research goes even further. "The application of cognition in technical systems should also mean that the robot learns from its experiences and the actions it performs. A simple example: a robot that spills too much when pouring a cup of coffee can then learn how it should be done."

Possible first iCub in the Netherlands

The arrival of the iCub robot at the University of Twente should signify the next step in this research. Van der Velde submitted an application together with other UT researchers Stefano Stramigioli, Vanessa Evers, Dirk Heylen and Richard van Wezel, all active in the robotics and cognitive research. At the moment, twenty European laboratories have an iCub, which was developed in Italy (thanks to a European FP7 grant for the IIT). The Netherlands is still missing from the list. Moreover, a newer version is currently being developed, with for example haptic sensors. In February it will be announced whether the robotics club will actually bring the latest iCub to the UT. The robot costs a quarter of a million Euros and NWO (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research) will reimburse 75% of the costs. Then the TNO (Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research) and the universities of Groningen, Nijmegen, Delft and Eindhoven can also make use of it. Within the UT, the iCub can be deployed in different laboratories thanks to a special transport system.

Robot guide dog

The possibilities are endless, according to Van der Velde. "The new iCub has a skin and fingers that have a much better sense of touch and can feel strength. That makes interaction with humans much more natural. We want to ensure that this robot continues to learn and understands how people function. This research ensures, for example, that robots actually gather knowledge by focusing on certain objects or persons. In areas of application like healthcare and nursing, such robots can play an important role. A good example would be that in ten years' time you see a blind person walking with a robot guide dog."

Nano-neural circuits

A recent line of research that is in line with this profile is the development of electronic circuits that resemble a web of neurons in the human brain. Contacts have already been made to start this research in Twente. In the iCub robot, this can for example be used for the robot's visual perception. This requires a lot of relatively simple operations that must all be performed in parallel. This takes a lot of time and energy in the current systems. With electronic circuits in the form of a web of nerve cells this is much easier.

"These connections are only possible at the nanoscale, that is to say the scale at which the material is only a few atoms thick. In combination with the iCub robot, it can be investigated how the experiences of the robot are recorded in such materials and how the robot is controlled by nano-neural circuitry. The bottleneck of the existing technical systems is often the energy consumption and the size. The limits of Moore's Law, the proposition that the number of transistors in a circuit doubles every two years through technological advances, are reached. In this area we are therefore also on the verge of many new applications."

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcTwO2dpX8A


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Twente. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Twente. "Human robot getting closer: iCub robot must learn from its experiences." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 September 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130927094546.htm>.
University of Twente. (2013, September 27). Human robot getting closer: iCub robot must learn from its experiences. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130927094546.htm
University of Twente. "Human robot getting closer: iCub robot must learn from its experiences." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130927094546.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Building Google Into Cars

Building Google Into Cars

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Google's next Android version could become the standard that'll power your vehicle's entertainment and navigation features, Reuters has learned. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
After Sony Hack, What's Next?

After Sony Hack, What's Next?

Reuters - US Online Video (Dec. 19, 2014) The hacking attack on Sony Pictures has U.S. government officials weighing their response to the cyber-attack. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
How 2014 Shaped The Future Of The Internet

How 2014 Shaped The Future Of The Internet

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) It has been a long, busy year for Net Neutrality. The stage is set for an expected landmark FCC decision sometime in 2015. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins