© Stanford University
Mobile Aloha is the name of the robot created by three scientists from Stanford University in collaboration with researchers from the company Deep Mind. Based on the Aloha system created by Google, the latter is able to carry out a fairly impressive list of household tasks.
To develop this prototype, the engineers trained it using a database, but also by instructing it via demonstrations. Thus, the robot imitates certain actions necessary to accomplish a specific mission. In short, the machine learns step by step how to do things during these training sessions.
The authors note that their method works with formidable efficiency. Moreover, when Aloha repeats an action 50 times, it increases her chances of completing her mission independently by 90%.
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As we can see in the presentation videos offered by the team, the list of actions supported by Aloha is very extensive. He can thus prepare meals, load a dishwasher, wash clothes, open and close the refrigerator to take a product, clean a home, put away objects, feed pets, or even prepare coffee, i.e. essential household chores.
The icing on the cake is that Aloha costs less than 30,000 euros to produce, which is much cheaper than other domestic robots already developed. However, a major downside should be noted. Indeed, scientists recognize that despite its dexterity, this machine still needs to be improved so that it moves more quickly in the housing and gains precision.
We will have to follow the evolution of this technology which could ultimately free us from these tedious daily actions. Note also that Aloha's software and machine learning algorithm are available as open source, which could allow other motivated groups to perfect it.
Another study conducted by researchers at the University of Oxford and Ochanomizu University in Japan recently surveyed 65 scientists specializing in AI. The objective was therefore to find out if robots could move up a gear in terms of automating household tasks. Overall, experts estimate that they could carry out 39% of domestic tasks by 2033.
The specialists interviewed thus judge the 10 actions that machines could do for us are: running errands, shopping (other than food shopping), cleaning the house, washing dishes, cooking, ironing, washing clothes, participating in raising a child, gardening, or even maintaining the house and the car.
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