Education is one of the most important goods of mankind. That’s why the United Nations and other organizations are fighting for many decades to give every child access to education. Just as humans need education, robots need to be fed with information, too. Some models just need the right programming to gain the necessary knowledge to fulfill their tasks. But there are also robots, for example models with an artificial intelligence (AI), which need help from humans to improve their work.
Experts predict that robots will be playing a very big role in our lives in the upcoming decades. Service robots could prepare breakfast while reminding us of today’s appointments and afterwards clean the house. But before the cohabitation of robots and humans can be really harmonious, the machines need to learn a lot of things first. In some sort of kindergarten for robots, engineers and robotic experts are already trying to teach the machines how they should behave with humans. The mechanical engineering department of the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Canada is one facility where they teach robots how to share and how to find their way around rooms.
The human-robot interaction
Elizabeth Croft, UBC mechanical engineering professor and some kind of robo-kindergarten boss explains in an interview with Robohub why the human-robot interaction is so important: “As robots become more and more a part of our lives, the question becomes: what are the rules of the game? What is OK for robots to do, and what is not? Robots will have abilities that we don’t have, and we need to define what they are allowed to do with that capacity”.
Creating a proper education or training for robots will be an important issue in the future, but the robots from Tinkerbots don’t even have to be sent to kindergarten for providing you with a good service. Instead, you can teach them what they should do on your own in no time. Just use the record and playback mode of the Powerbrain and show the robot some movements. Your Tinkerbot memorizes what you have just showed him and he repeats it. For the total control over your robot, you can also use the app remote with your smartphone.