Robot learns ‘self-awareness’
Who’s that good-looking guy? Nico examines itself and its surroundings in the mirror. (Credit: Justin Hart / Yale University ) “Only humans can be self-aware.” Another myth bites the dust. Yale roboticists have programmed Nico, a robot, to be able to recognize itself in a mirror. Why is this important? Using knowledge that it has learned about itself, Nico is able to use a mirror as an instrument for spatial reasoning, allowing it to accurately determine where objects are located in space based on their reflections, rather than naively believing them to exist behind the mirror. Nico’s programmer, roboticist Justin Hart, a member of the Social Robotics Lab, focuses his thesis research primarily on “robots autonomously learning about their bodies and senses,” but he also explores human-robot interaction, “including projects on social presence, attributions of intentionality, and people’s perception of robots.” Nico in the looking glass So far, no robot has successfully met this challenge.
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