Using VR Technology to Teach Robots new “Human” Skills

There are many different use cases for virtual reality technology. Outside of the world of entertainment and training programs, it seems a lot of robots can benefit from VR technology as well.More specifically, teaching robots how to move is not all that easy, but we have come a long way ever since. With humans commandeering robots like a robot, the machine can effectively mimic the movements of its human operator. It sounds like a simple business model, yet it is one that works quite well.

Using VR to Teach Robots how to Move

With so many companies developing new generations of robots, it is only evident there needs to be a stronger focus on how they move around. If robots will ever be designed to move around like humans and mingle with our species, they need to be both graceful and flexible at the very same time. That may prove to be rather difficult without using the proper technology. This is where virtual reality comes into the picture for a few companies.

Embodied Intelligence, for example, is one of the companies using a consumer-grade VR system to teach robot show to move around. Rather than just coding this information like they would do otherwise, there is a lot more to this effort than meets the eye. Moving with the agility of a human is not easy unless you effectively are human. Most robots, unfortunately, are anything but.

By detailing movements at 70 frames per second, the robots can effectively get a better idea of how moving around works and how they should mimic it themselves. Learning by example is always a better option, and a hands-on experience will certainly go a long way in this regard.  Using this advanced version of learning tools is not necessarily straightforward, but it seems to work rather well.

So far, the company has seen positive results due to their VR-based approach. It takes around 90 minutes to teach a robot how to move objects through space like a human would. Although it’s not a 100% imitation of a human’s movement, it certainly seems to work well enough to move things along. Shortening the robotic skill-acquisition process is always worth exploring by companies. So far, it seems BRETT is one of the best-known robots capable of learning new tricks though VR.

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By Mark Arguinbaev

Mark is a 28 year old internet entrepreneur. He is a bitcoin enthusiast and a technology addict. He loves writing and educating readers about the newest tech trends.