Robotic Dog Uses AI to Learn to Walk in Under 20 Minutes

A group of researchers at the University of California Berkeley have trained a dog to walk on various terrain in under twenty minutes using machine learning. Using a ‘deep reinforcement’ form of artificial intelligence, the robot can quickly acclimate to traversing almost any ground cover it finds itself on. Obviously, there’s never been a better time to build a treehouse.

Using a Q-learning algorithm, the robot doesn’t require any prior knowledge of the terrain; it just immediately starts the learning process from the ground up, being rewarded for successful actions. Wait – what are they giving it, digital dog treats? How do you reward a robotic dog? I’m so confused right now. Granted, I’m confused most of the time, but right now included.

For reference, it took me a solid three years to learn how to walk. Before that, I could only crawl in reverse and get stuck under the sofa. You never heard my parents complaining, though; apparently, it made me incredibly easy to babysit.

[via TechEBlog]

Petvation lets your pets in and out safely with a smart door that recognizes their faces

Every kid thinks that keeping a pet is easy-peasy, at least until they get to the nitty-gritty of feeding and grooming, and that’s only for pets confined at home. Even grownups have issues when it comes to letting dogs and cats out and back in daily, which requires installing a pet door that is often an open invitation for other critters to come uninvited into your home. We don’t have such problems with humans, thanks to advancements in machine learning and computer vision. It’s about time that we use those same technologies to keep our pets and our houses safe, which is the peace of mind that this smart pet door promises homeowners and their furry friends.

Designer: Javis Sijin

Click Here to Buy Now: $169 $229 (26% off). Hurry, only 183/200 left!

Common pet doors can easily let pets in and out easily, but they also don’t offer protection against other animals that aren’t your pets, especially raccoons and, worse, coyotes or wolves. Other doors might go overboard, on the other hand, and become safety hazards to pets themselves. There are also some smart doors available, but they require putting an uncomfortable collar around your four-legged companion, akin to asking your family to wear ankle monitors just so your smart home security will recognize them.

We live in a time of AI-powered facial recognition, and those don’t actually have to limited to be limited to humans. In fact, there are plenty of examples where AI accurately recognizes different kinds of animals, and that is exactly the kind of technology that serves as the foundation of Petvation’s innovative smart pet door. In a nutshell, this door can distinguish your pet’s face from other animals to make sure it only opens your home to extended members of your family.

Anti-pinch Sensor

Petvation is a lot more sophisticated and a lot smarter than that, of course. It also has motion detectors to make sure that it closes the door only after your pet has gone through it completely. And just to be completely sure, it also has an anti-pinch sensor that can detect objects as small as 0.2 inches, ensuring that no tail will be harmed ever again. And last but definitely not least, the door runs a self-diagnostic check every time it opens and closes to make sure everything is in order and warn you if one of its sensors isn’t working properly. Of course, everything can also be controlled and monitored through your phone app, putting you in complete control of the door and your pets, not the other way around.

The smart door’s intelligence actually goes beyond the technology and extends to the very design of the product. Rather than flaps or doors that slide sideways, Petvation’s specially-designed motor quietly raises and lowers the cover, which means it requires less space for a door to be installed. Along with the built-in security latch, the PC door and aluminum alloy frame ensure stability, durability, and safety, both for pets and humans alike.

Despite its advanced features, Petvation is designed to be easy to install and can be used on any type of door or wall between 20mm (0.8in) and 185mm (7.3in) in thickness. It is powered by a 12V wall plug, which is actually a strength rather than a disadvantage. It means that the smart door will always be getting the right amount of power to remain accurate and fast all the time. You can even power it from a power bank, which can come in handy during power interruptions.

Our human lives have become safer and more convenient thanks to innovations in technology, and there’s no really no reason why our pets have to continue living in the past. This smart door takes technologies and techniques that have been around for years now and applies them to something that sounds so trivial but has a compounding effect on the wellbeing of our pets and, in the long run, our own peace of mind as well.

Click Here to Buy Now: $169 $229 (26% off). Hurry, only 183/200 left!

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Robotic Hands Taught to Delicately Peel Bananas

What good is a robot servant if it can’t even peel your breakfast banana without smashing it to bits? With that in mind, researchers at the University of Tokyo’s ISI Laboratory have used AI to teach a pair of robotic hands how to delicately peel bananas. What a time to be alive and not a banana!

To achieve banana peeling success, the researchers first recorded 811 minutes of humans peeling bananas, with the process divided into nine stages, “from grasping the banana to picking it up off the table with one hand, grabbing the tip in the other hand, peeling it, then moving the banana so the rest of the skin can be removed.” The how-to data was then fed to the robots, which can now successfully peel bananas without damaging the fruit a relatively unimpressive 57% of the time. Hopefully, those bananas are going into smoothies, because they certainly wouldn’t pass inspection for banana splits.

There was probably a time just years ago when scientists thought robots would never be able to peel bananas but look at us now. Welcome to the future! We may not have hoverboards, but at least we have banana-peeling robots. Just to be clear, I’m rolling my eyes right now in case you couldn’t tell.

[via Laughing Squid]

Microsoft Moab is a cute robot that can learn how to balance balls and eggs

Until the metaverse buzz came along, a lot of the hype was placed on AI and machine learning. The way this technology was portrayed makes it almost like a magic sauce that made anything and everything smarter. Reality couldn’t be more different, though, especially for developers trying to learn the ropes of the different technologies involved in AI. Microsoft set out to make the learning process easier and, curiously enough, ended up with an interesting robot that tries to learn one of the oldest tricks in the book: balancing a ball.

Designers: Microsoft with Fresh Consulting

At first glance, Microsoft Moab doesn’t look like your typical robot. It doesn’t even look like a typical machine aimed at developers. It looks more like a cross between a robot vacuum cleaner and a weighing scale with a glass platform held up by three legs. When it does its thing, however, it resembles a creature lying on its back and flailing its legs to keep a small ball from falling off.

Learning how to balance a ball sounds so trivial, and that’s exactly the point with things like AI and machine learning. Things that we take for granted as humans aren’t exactly intuitive for machines. Adding another layer of complexity is how humans need to learn how to teach these machines to learn, which is what this Moab robot tries to offer in a non-intimidating way.

In a nutshell, Moab uses a camera to see the ball or any rolling object placed on top of its plate and then tries to move the plate until the object becomes stationary. After mastering that, developers can move on to giving Moab “obstacles” to overcome by poking the ball, for example, or using an object that’s not completely spherical like an egg. Moab doesn’t learn all of these automatically, though, and developers learn the ropes of machine learning, including things like visualizing their data in simulations before transferring that to the robot.

What makes Project Moab rather unique is that it was created as a product from beginning to end. Unlike what would usually be characterized as a DIY project or a hack, Moab’s form, the materials used in manufacturing the robot, and even the packaging were made with a commercial product in mind, and it might even be available for purchase in the near future.

The post Microsoft Moab is a cute robot that can learn how to balance balls and eggs first appeared on Yanko Design.

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