Wheeled robot set loose on college campus teaches itself to open any door

A robot has been trained to open doors and set loose on a college campus, giving a glimpse into the future of what could be a robot butler.

1 minute & 32 seconds read time

Engineers have set loose a wheeled robot that's designed to teach itself how to open doors, demonstrating a step forward in machines interacting with the physical world.

The creators behind the wheeled robot trained it through imitation, showing the machine visual examples of how to open different types of doors. The robot was shown visual examples of how to open doors, cabinets, drawers, and even refrigerators. After each visual demonstration, the robot then spent anywhere between 30 minutes and an hour learning how to open each door.

After it was successfully trained, it was then set loose on a college campus where it would encounter different types of doors. The creators trained the robot on 12 objects for practice and then an additional 8 objects. Notably, the robot had a success rate of about 50% when it first started, but after many attempts, its success rate increased to about 95%.

"You want the robots to work autonomously... without relying on humans to keep giving examples at test time for every new kind of scenario that you're in," says Deepak Pathak at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pennsylvania.

"Opening doors and drawers - a seemingly simple task for humans - is actually surprisingly difficult for robots," says Yunzhu Li at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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