Genetically engineered immune cells, reusable rockets, and self-driving cars have some excellent company this year: robots that learn tasks and share that knowledge with the cloud so other robots can benefit from it. MIT Technology Review has just released its Ten Breakthrough Technologies 2016, and recent work from Brown CS Professor Stefanie Tellex and her Humans to Robots Laboratory is among them.
"The goal [of the lab's Million Object Challenge]," writes Amanda Schaffer, "is for research robots around the world to learn how to spot and handle simple items from bowls to bananas, upload their data to the cloud, and allow other robots to analyze and use the information....Progress in robotics could accelerate dramatically if each type of machine didn’t have to be programmed separately."
Availability for these robotic autodidacts? Just three to five years away.
The entire list is available here.