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Meet ‘Dubbed Blue’ a human-friendly robot for domestic chores

Researchers have made a new robot that could bring a softer touch to automation and its artificial intelligence. According to journal report, ‘Dubbed Blue’ is a two-armed robot designed to work alongside humans in carrying out most domestic works such as cleaning, washing of plates, folding clothes and dressing the bed, etc.

Besides the clarity of purpose, Dubbed Blue is cheap enough not to break anyone’s bank account. Though its sample is still a research tool, the researchers have come up to make a detailed analysis of the cost of building the robot for commercial purpose and predicted that Dubbed Blue may probably be the cheapest human-friendly robot meant for domestic works.

According to one of the researcher who is part of the team that created the Blue alongside other researchers at the University of California, Berkeley- “it is a human-friendly design and an artificial intelligence capabilities believed to pave the way for household robots that help out with domestic tasks such as cleaning, folding laundry and even making coffee.”

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“We wanted to create a new robot that is right for the artificial intelligence age instead of the high-precision, sub-millimeter factory automation age,” Pieter Abbeel, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Berkeley and the leader of the research team that built the robot.

Based on data from the Center for Occupational Robotics Research of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health that 61 Americans died from injuries sustained in robot-related accidents between1992-2015. The robots Abbeel references are widely used in manufacturing, however, they can be risky for humans who get in the way.

That may not be true for robots that use deep reinforcement learning, a pattern in which machines try a task over and over again until they get it right. Mistakes made by a giant-powerful industrial robot can be dangerous for humans and other machines also. Therefore, a robot that learns by trial and error needs a gentler touch especially in the household’s robots which will always relate with children and pets. These were put into consideration while designing the Blue.

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To make a robot that performs useful household tasks without putting others at risk, Abbeel and his team designed the Dubbed blue in such a manner that it responds to touch, varying the force it exerts according to the force exerted on it. In a video display of the Blue’s capabilities and operations, the robot gives way immediately when nudged by a human.

When compared with some industrial robots, Blue is softer in design. Its components are covered in curved plastic shells with few sharp edges. Its arms can shape roughly like that of a human, possibly making an end in small claw-shaped grippers. A camera mounted between the arms like a tiny head allows the bot to take in its surroundings.

Though dubbed Blue is not the first sensitive AI robot, its total manufacturing cost of $5,000, probably made it one of the cheapest Artificial intelligence robot. Similar robot for industrial purpose can cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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The actions obtainable from Blue includes: performing most work on its owns like; folding towels, arranging flowers in a vase, making of coffee, and taking videos, etc. it is being piloted by a researcher using a virtual reality headset. And to keep costs down, it is not as strong as its industrial counterpart neither does it have the same precision as that of the industrial counterpart. “The arm was not quite ready to take over your chores” Selma Sabanovic, an expert in human-robot interaction at Indiana University who was not involved in the research, noted.

According to Selma Sabanovic, “Blue is more for use by the robotics community as a research tool than directly for home use” she added in an email. She added that Blue’s low price tag will make it more accessible for researchers and teachers, possibly leading to more and better research on domestic robots.

“Blue could be useful to other researchers working on robots that can cook, clean and even collaborate with humans” added by Laurel Riek, a professor of computer science and emergency medicine at the University of California, San Diego.

Originally posted 2019-04-16 11:34:55.

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