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New Robot Learning Cooking From YouTube Videos


Working in kitchen is going to be much easier in near future. Recently, scientists from the University of Maryland have developed a new robot, equipped with artificial intelligence, which can cook. The robot has the capability of leaning the procedures of cooking visually by watching videos on YouTube. Previously, scientists had developed robots which could recognize patterns and objects but this new robot which can interpret and act on the input is a unique creation. The project has been funded by DARPA’s (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) Mathematics of Sensing, Exploitation and Execution (MSEE) program.

The new robot is so designed that it can process and act on data presented to them in “how to” cooking videos on YouTube. The researchers have demonstrated that on the basis of what the robots see on the YouTube video, they can grab kitchen utensils and perform various tasks. Reza Ghanadan, program manager in DARPA’s Defense Sciences Offices, said “The MSEE program initially focused on sensing, which involves perception and understanding of what’s happening in a visual scene, not simply recognizing and identifying objects. We’ve now taken the next step to execution, where a robot processes visual cues through a manipulation action-grammar module and translates them into actions.”

In addition to following and performing tasks by watching videos, the robot can also accumulate and share knowledge. However, it does not have a long term memory and can retain information only for a few moments. Ghanadan explained “This system allows robots to continuously build on previous learning—such as types of objects and grasps associated with them—which could have a huge impact on teaching and training. Instead of the long and expensive process of programming code to teach robots to do tasks, this research opens the potential for robots to learn much faster, at much lower cost and, to the extent they are authorized to do so, share that knowledge with other robots. This learning-based approach is a significant step towards developing technologies that could have benefits in areas such as military repair and logistics.”


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