Tug of war! New research finds robots learn more effectively when humans provide physical resistance

Mail Online | 11/6/2019 | Michael Thomsen For Dailymail.com
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Robots may learn more effectively from human resistance than human cooperation.

That’s one possible inference from the results of a recently conducted experiment at the University of Southern California’s Viterbi School of Engineering.

Group - Researchers - Arm - Grip - Objects

A group of researchers examined how a robotic arm might learn to adapt its grip to objects of different sizes and weights.

They compared the results from the robotic arm operating alone to how it would perform if there were a human present trying to pull the object out of the robot’s grip.

Robots - Grip - Human - Picture - Things

Surprisingly, the robots learned to adapt their grip much more quickly and effectively with an adversarial human in the picture than when they were left alone and had to figure things out with their own AI.

The robots which had been exposed to human adversaries were also better able to generalize information about new and unfamiliar objects, researcher and co-author Stefanos Nikolaidis told Wired.

Resistance - Robots - Objects - Percent - Time

With human resistance, the robots were able to successfully hold onto objects 52 percent of the time.

When the robots had no human resistance they established a successful grip on new objects just 26.5 percent of the time.

Research - Team - Experiment - Simulation

The research team designed the entire experiment as a simulation, rather than an...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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