|The iCub robot project has recently upgraded the child-like robot with legs equipped with force-feedback sensors that have allowed the android to stand and balance on its own. Previously the research robot could only crawl along just like a child.|
That is the hypothesis that human-like manipulation plays a vital role in the development of human cognition. As a baby learns many cognitive skills by interacting with its environment and other humans using its limbs and senses, and consequently its internal model of the world is largely determined by the form of the human body, the robot was designed to test this hypothesis by allowing cognitive learning scenarios to be acted out by an accurate reproduction of the perceptual system and articulation of a small child so that it could interact with the world in the same way that such a child does.
Just like a child, iCub did not initially stand on its own, and was only able to crawl.
Now as seen in the video below, iCub just "learnt" to balance while standing on two legs. A first experiment based on a new iCub sense adjusting actuators it its limbs. Presumably the robot's "baby steps" may soon also be made.
With Roboy also in development in Switzerland, there is a great deal of work currently underway exploring embodiment for artificial intelligence. What is so striking about iCub though is the naturalness and eerie similarity the robot has to the movements of an actual child.
SOURCE iCub Humanoid Robot
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