On the way to lifelike robots

November 11, 2020

Artificial intelligence is supposed to make machines perform at ever more amazing levels. A robot that can do little more than a remote-controlled model car has a limited range of applications. But from an automatic machine to an autonomous robot, it is a big, almost revolutionary step. Robotics researchers Mirko Kovac and Aslan Miriyev, who both work at Empa's "Materials and Technology Center of Robotics" in Dübendorf and at the "Aerial Robotics Lab" of Imperial College London, are convinced that one decisive component can make this evolutionary step possible: Physical artificial intelligence, PAI for short. Only when the artificial intelligence of a digital "brain" is merged with an intelligent body could new types of robots be created that have properties comparable to those of intelligent living organisms. They have now published their concept in the latest issue of the renowned scientific journal Nature Machine Intelligence.

Thinking outside the box

In order to develop fully autonomous, intelligent robot systems, researchers must recognize and utilize the synergies of different disciplines, such as materials science, biology, mechanical engineering, chemistry and computer science, according to the Empa scientists. "We imagine that PAI robots will only become reality through the use of a variety of unconventional materials and by combining research methods from various disciplines," says Mirko Kovac. To do this, researchers would need a much broader range of skills than is usually seen in conventional robotics. Interdisciplinary cooperation, partnerships and an adaptation of the curriculum for young researchers are therefore called for. "Working in a multidisciplinary environment requires courage and constant learning. Researchers must leave their comfort zones and think beyond the boundaries of their own field".

Symbiosis of man and machine

The Empa researchers want to promote the vision of a society in which people are "living" together seamlessly with machines. "This symbiosis can only be achieved if safe interaction is possible and if the machines have true, Physical AI, allowing them to live like benevolent animals together with nature and people," says Kovac. The researchers now hope that their work will encourage active discussion of the topic.
-end-


Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA)

Related Robots Articles from Brightsurf:

On the way to lifelike robots
In order for robots to be able to achieve more than simple automated machines in the future, they must not only have their own ''brain''.

Children think robots can help the elderly -- but not their own grandparents
A study that asked children to assess three different robots showed that they responded most positively to simple robots shaped like flower pots, and were most sceptical of Pepper the robot, which looks more human.

Nanomaterial gives robots chameleon skin
A new film made of gold nanoparticles changes color in response to any type of movement.

How many jobs do robots really replace?
MIT economist Daron Acemoglu's new research puts a number on the job costs of automation.

Robots popular with older adults
A new study by psychologists from the University of Jena (Germany) does not confirm that robot skepticism among elder people is often suspected in science.

Showing robots how to do your chores
By observing humans, robots learn to perform complex tasks, such as setting a table.

Designing better nursing care with robots
Robots are becoming an increasingly important part of human care, according to researchers based in Japan.

Darn you, R2! When can we blame robots?
A recent study finds that people are likely to blame robots for workplace accidents, but only if they believe the robots are autonomous.

Robots need a new philosophy to get a grip
Robots need to know the reason why they are doing a job if they are to effectively and safely work alongside people in the near future.

How can robots land like birds?
Birds can perch on a wide variety of surfaces, thick or thin, rough or slick.

Read More: Robots News and Robots Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.