“Only humans can be self-aware.”
Another myth bites the dust.
Yale roboticists have programmed Nico, a robot, to be able to recognize itself in a mirror.
Why is this important?
Because robots will need to learn about themeselves and how they affect the world around them — especially people.
Using knowledge that it has learned about itself, Nico is able to use a mirror as an instrument for spatial reasoning, allowing it to accurately determine where objects are located in space based on their reflections, rather than naively believing them to exist behind the mirror.
Nico’s programmer, roboticist Justin Hart, a member of the Social Robotics Lab, focuses his thesis research primarily on “robots autonomously learning about their bodies and senses,” but he also explores human-robot interaction, “including projects on social presence, attributions of intentionality, and people’s perception of robots.”
Recently, the lab (along with MIT, Stanford, and USC) won a $10 million grant from the National Science Foundation to create “socially assistive” robots that can serve as companions for children with special needs. These robots will help with everything from cognitive skills to getting the right amount of exercise. Hart’s specific goal in this program: enable Nico to interact with its environment by learning about itself, and using this self-model, to reason about tasks — mainly ones for humans.
[ from kurzweilai.net ]