Psychic Robot Bartender Knows When You Want It to Pour You a Beer (VIDEO)

Will Oremus

What’s better than a robot that can serve you beer? How about a robot that can tell when you’re about to move your glass, so it doesn't accidentally pour the beer straight into your lap?

That’s the ambitious goal of computer scientists at Cornell’s Personal Robotics Lab, who equipped a PR2 robot with a Microsoft Kinect camera and a database of 3-D videos to teach it to anticipate human actions. So if you reach for your mug when it’s getting ready to pour you a brewski, it realizes that you might be about to move the mug—then waits until you've put it back before beginning to pour.

The artificial intelligence involved is akin to the algorithms Google uses to autocomplete your words when you start typing them into a search window on your computer. In this case, the robot watches you begin to move and develops a few hypotheses about where you’re most likely to move so that it can respond appropriately.

Story continues here: slate.com

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