Humans have been fascinated with automated machines from a very long time. The first recorded automated machine was made around 11th century. With the rapid development of technology in recent decades we have seen robots that have even reached space. But have you ever thought that robots can learn how to walk and think all without human intervention?
The interesting case of humanoid robots
The robots that have been used till now , all had codes written for them by humans to do specific tasks. Humanoid robots have been named so because they are made to look like the human body. There are thousands of humanoid robots working in various fields like science, research, medicine, entertainment, etc. but this is relatively new that a humanoid robot has learned to walk by itself.
The only humanoid robot that has learned to walk by itself
Cassie is a pair of robot legs made by the scientists of the University of Berkeley which has recently learned to walk by itself. This was possible due to a technique called reinforcement learning, which teaches the AI movement and behavior by trial and error method. This is a big step in the making of self-thinking and analyzing robots.
How Cassie learned to walk on its own
Training a large robot in the real-world directly is not feasible. So, what the scientists did was that they used virtual environment to let the robot learn. They used 2 types of virtual environments, one with previously learned robot movements and shifted this memory to a real world physics simulator called SimMechanics. After successful trials in the simulations they loaded the model into the actual robot.
Cassie performed well in its real-world tests and could walk on different terrains without any fine-tuning. It was also able to compensate its movements after the damage to two of its motors in its right leg.
How Cassie stands out from other humanoid robots
We have seen robots which can do an variety of movements including dancing and playing football in confined spaces. Cassie can only walk till now but it is much more special than the other robots. Its because the other robots had pre-written codes installed in them to perform such elaborate tasks and could not do anything without the help of a human, whereas Cassie had learned all the basics by itself ,just like a human baby starting to walk.
There are robots assisted by google deep learning AI by which they learned to walk by themselves, but it was a 4 legged model. This has just marked the beginning of a new era of robotics and self-learning AI. We might even see the robots like the ones from I, Robot living in the near future with us.
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