Let's Make Robots!

CB2 - Robotic learning by human interaction (Cool or Spooky)

This robot impressed me even though it gave me the "heebie-geebies"

What is your vote :-

  1. Cool
  2. Spooky
  3. Innovative
  4. Scares the living daylights out of me.

Food for thought...... does the arm/disarm button shown at the start of the video allow the researchers to sleep at night........

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Calling it "a mass of wire, metal and blinking lights" is like calling yourself a "bag of molecules and some organic compounds".  It is wholly accurate, yet missing the interesting parts.....


What I said/typed (complete with typo) is:

 I did feel like I was watching something alive and I would pronbably treat it differently than a mass of wire, metal and blinking lights.

What they are doing is evoking (apparantly strong) emotion by scripting child like actions in a robot that mimics a childs body. That is very different than making a robot that can behave and learn like a child on its own.

Heh, your right, but I enjoy bantering with you and it was an easy pot shot :D

I know what they are doing, I also know what actions elicited my emotional response.  Strangely, previously I was more interested in actual capabilities rather than emotional responses from robots. YOU posted this link http://www.ted.com/talks/cynthia_breazeal_the_rise_of_personal_robots.html which began me thinking about how really important the "emotional" facet is.  In fact if you think about it, this whole site "really" began from the emotional response of Frits "Yellow Drumming Machine".  The most energetic feedback I ever got for making a bot was this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rz1xEu52UbM.  It was because of the "emotional" value.  

Your right, it did not mention a new type of AI architecture or some other awesome technical wizardry.  And I respect anyone who says, "The Emperor is not wearing any clothes" when there is no value to the clothing...

I just found value in the emotional part.....  Its something I disregard too often

Anyway, no foul, no harm... and if one shows up on your doorstep arbarnhart, and its not technically advanced enough, please put a GPS unit in it and send it my way :D




Somehow i knew this posting would ........invoke some interesting responses.

Grog :- Your walking robot (which i keep bumping into BTW) shows that anything with a human form will cause instant "identification" for the "watcher" .....Neato ........ as roboteers this is a "Win"

Emotions :- I agree .......even my collection of solar robots "live" for me ..... each time (1 of the current 4)  fires up (a quick burst) its like a friend saying "Hello" and your attention is draw to it maybe for a second or even millisecond........thats enough - thats enough to cause a response (nice feeling) from me. Each one has a different way of moving at an unpredictable time, which adds to the excitement when it chooses to "give a little wave". These small impulses are all i need ..... i say this to echo the magnified "feelings" that will be evoked by interaction with a CB² , i guess much stronger.

(heck when they become even more realistic through projects like CB² ......ask me again in 1 year).....

..... for me CB² is a fantastic way forward ........ 

I think people are reading too much into it. What I got from the video is that they are making it act like a human child does while learning and using its sensors to get data about interactions. They never said that the robot was learning anything from this; it may well be, but that was not presented as the point of this. They are making it seem life like so that people will interact with it like a child. I got the sense that its actions were all programmed and prescripted whith just a few limited responses like trying to rise when pulled up by the arms. I think it is an excellent idea; I did feel like I was watching something alive and I would pronbably treat it differently than a mass of wire, metal and blinking lights.

Your right, its just a big chunk of wires, chips, motors, and programming...  More people are involved now than electrical engineers. I would hazard psychologists, perhaps neurologists or behavioral scientists.  I saw another step in what seems to be a incessant journey to create "artificial" life..  I don't see it stopping either, without some cataclysmic event. 

As far a learning and intelligence goes, I would default to Rodney Brook's subsumption architecture and Forest Gump.

A nice forward step.  I did go through the heebie geebies too.  I think it has much to do with things we associated with "only being human".   

For example: details of movement, gestural cues, action reaction to touch and other environmental stimuli, etc.

On a deeper level though many have an image of what sets them as humans apart from other things (robots, animals, etc) - And now some of those ideas are being challenged..

I liked Rodney Brooks Ted synopsis of human history:
Towards the end of the talk he discusses the possibility of robot "life"
Historically, he says humanity has taken a real beating on being exclusively "special".

  • We found out we are not the center of the universe 
  • Humans and animals have common ancestors 
  • DNA and the mechanisms of life means humans and yeast are quite similar :) (why i like beer so much)
  • Logical human reasoning is the same as computation and hence fits on machines
  • Biochemistry shows that we are a collection of tiny machines
  • Human flesh and body plans are subject to technological manipulation 

It's hard to give up the "specialness" of being human, it will give you the heebie jeebies - but not accepting it is like saying the earth is flat (ya i know some people still believe the earth is flat - but I think they're a little loopy)