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Robotics Technology

Fudan Intelligent Robot Learns To Fit In 66

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the our-little-robot-grows-up dept.
martinsslaves writes "Shanghais' Fudan University have made some considerable progress in their endeavors in learning robots, with their new 'Fudan Intelligent Robot' looking a whole lot more polished than their previous Fudan-1 model. The goal is for the robot to learn new tasks by following voice commands, which the researchers hope could eventually allow the robot to help the elderly or become a 'good household mate' for families. Among other things, the bot can currently can plot out its own map of its surroundings and remember specific locations and, of course, change TV channels at your command (or even serve as a TV itself)."
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Fudan Intelligent Robot Learns To Fit In

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  • by psychicsword (1036852) * <The@@@psychicsword...com> on Friday November 09, 2007 @01:44AM (#21291155)
    Looks like a robot succeeded where many slashdot readers failed... it fits in.

    Lucy Liu bot make me a sandwich everyone else would.
  • I, for one, welcome our socially accepted robotic overloads
    • by Fred_A (10934)
      I doubt you'll get to welcome robots responding to vocal commands in the US any time soon with people going f**k and s**t (to use the sanctioned spelling, although I haven't quite figured how "**" is pronounced) all the time, it could be messy.
      • now now, i don't think world domination is what we should be expecting here. First, robots will have to learn to lubricate on their potty pads. Then comes forcible amputations.
  • Is it just me? (Score:2, Insightful)

    Or is this "robot" not really very, well, good at anything? The description sounds like only a notch above children's toys today.

    Could someone explain what's so story-worthy about this bot?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by psychicsword (1036852) *

      Could someone explain what's so story-worthy about this bot?
      It is for the jokes that comes out of it.
    • It can understand spoken commands and reacts accordingly. It builds its own map of its surroundings and can navigate itself on learning. This is a big deal for the disabled or the elderly that need help to do various day to day tasks.
      • by rucs_hack (784150)
        It can understand spoken commands and reacts accordingly. It builds its own map of its surroundings and can navigate itself on learning. This is a big deal for the disabled or the elderly that need help to do various day to day tasks.

        Environments change, and people who need help often tend to lose the ability to speak clearly.

        If someone falls over and knocks things the environment would change fast too.

        It's a nice idea, but the abilities spoken off are still effectively lab bound except for toy applications
        • by Jugalator (259273)
          Obviously, these aren't here to replace all personnel, just to complement.

          Environments change, but again, these robots learn, so I supposed that means they can re-learn too. And additionally, environments do not change for long periods of time. Actually they spend their most part of their time doing that. Some elderly lose their ability to speak after a while, especially those with diseases like Alzheimer's, but many do not. As a complement, I think these could be useful if they fulfill their design goals.
      • by dnormant (806535)
        "It can understand spoken commands and" ...

        The robot is being developed in China; Does it understand only Chinese? Or does it relate any speech patterns to various commands?
    • Small advances in programmable AI are usually pretty big steps. Those "children's toys" you're talking about were nothing more than pipe dreams 20 years ago. Anybody who has ever had to calculate an integral of a sum can tell you that little pieces add up to big things.

      • by sm62704 (957197)
        Small advances in programmable AI are usually pretty big steps. Those "children's toys" you're talking about were nothing more than pipe dreams 20 years ago. Anybody who has ever had to calculate an integral of a sum can tell you that little pieces add up to big things.

        How many more beads do I have to string on my abacus before it becomes self-aware? Wikipedia has an interesting article about this [wikipedia.org].

        Anyone who understands how computers work (at the subcomponent level; NAND gates and so forth) who posits that
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          I could argue the same think about the neurons and synapses in your head. You'd be crazy to think that they could actually be capable of as advanced an activity as thought.

          No, but seriously, the question becomes "Just how high a level of autonomy is required of any seemingly-sentient being before they are deemed capable of thought?" As with many things in computer science, it's all about abstraction; just how far outside the box are you sitting? I as a computer scientist may look at Asimo and

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by sm62704 (957197)
            I could argue the same think about the neurons and synapses in your head.

            The neurins and synapses are in a 3d structure, and are electrochemical. Thought is a chemical/electrochemical process or getting drunk would be impossible. Your computer IS an abacus. Your brain, or your dog's for that matter, are not.

            As with many things in computer science, it's all about abstraction

            I don't argue that thought can't be simulated; I do argue that a flight simulator doesn't leave the ground and a neuclear explosion simu
            • I am personally surprised to find someone here on /. with such a different point of view. It is good to see that we are not as monolithic as we might seem.

              However, if you agree that AI can become indistinguishable than it follows that you MUST grant them rights since there is no way to proved that any person you ever meet or have ever met is "real" - they could just be really advanced tech in a pretty package that cons you into thinking they are human. If there is no difference you can tell, what is the dif
              • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

                by sm62704 (957197)
                That was great, thank you for that!

                They talk by flapping their meat at each other. They can even sing by squirting air through their meat."

                "Omigod. Singing meat. This is altogether too much. So what do you advise?"


                The difference is that WE made the computers, and therefore WE know how they work. If you know how a computer works, you know it can't think.

                Now, if you put me in a commercial flight simulator you could probably convince me that you'd flown me to Afghanistan, or even the moon if you could do somet
    • The description sounds like only a notch above children's toys today.

      I wish someone would define "intelligent" here, because this thing doesn't fit the dictionary definition [reference.com]... oh wait, here it is: "4. Computers. pertaining to the ability to do data processing locally; smart: An intelligent terminal can edit input before transmission to a host computer."

      I always heard them referred to "smart" terminals and "dumb" terminals, but whatever. Fram TFA (which differred remarkably from the slashdot summary) this t
  • by orkysoft (93727) <orkysoftNO@SPAMmyrealbox.com> on Friday November 09, 2007 @01:58AM (#21291235) Journal

    Among other things, the bot can currently can plot out its own map of its surroundings and remember specific locations and, of course, change TV channels at your command (or, as you can see above, even serve as a TV itself)."

    So they finally invented the remote control for the remote control?

    • by ianare (1132971)
      Yes, now you can change the living room TV from the kitchen.
    • by slater86 (1154729)
      so one day, TV might actually kill us. hmm.... I guess its bittorrent from now on for me.
      • by sm62704 (957197)
        so one day, TV might actually kill us

        You have to die from something. Although my preference is to be shot by a jealous lover, on the upstroke, at the age of 120.

        -mcgrew
    • So they finally invented the remote control for the remote control?
      I always thought that is what a wife was for?
  • How long until this hits the 'adult' market?
    • by CODiNE (27417)
      If you check out TFA you'll see that it looks like an old Nintendo Robbie with a computer stuck in it's chest. So to answer your question, you don't need to wait for a special adult version of these, you can hump your own computer for free.
  • Yeah but (Score:5, Funny)

    by dibblda (882455) on Friday November 09, 2007 @02:16AM (#21291341)
    It's probably made of lead paint and GHB....
  • Obligatory... (Score:1, Redundant)

    by SnowZero (92219)
    I, Fudan, welcome our new intelligent robot overlords.
  • cat threat (Score:4, Funny)

    by xPsi (851544) * on Friday November 09, 2007 @03:33AM (#21291739)

    The goal is for the robot to learn new tasks by following voice commands, which the researchers hope could eventually allow the robot to help the elderly or become a "good household mate" for families. Among other things, the bot can currently can plot out its own map of its surroundings and remember specific locations and, of course, change TV channels at your command (or, as you can see above, even serve as a TV itself).
    There are a lot of cats out there right now licking themselves acting aloof, pretending like they don't care, but really thinking, "there's no goddamn way I can compete with this thing."
    • by RuBLed (995686)
      I'm not sure about that, as a saying goes... "curiosity kills a cat"

      Now from normal household experience with cats + what I had viewed in those funniest videos show. They should make that robot catproof, only a cat would have the curiosity enough to try to tackle this thing while moving and let it be dragged on the carpet while clutching the robots legs..

      Oh my, better get those camcorders ready.. Well, I was just reminded by how much I laughed once because of our cat..
    • Mean while the dogs are thinking, "Heh, no way will that mobile fire hydrant will ever be able to lick peanut butter.".
  • by RudeIota (1131331) on Friday November 09, 2007 @03:41AM (#21291781) Homepage
    Verbal input to robot:
    "Put my java beans in grinder. Percolate water and coffee. Pour in the mug. Place the mug on my desk."

    Robot output
    "Put my human spleen in grinder. Exsanguinate daughter slowly. Pour in the blood. Place the blood on my chest"


    ... and this, my friends, is why I might wait for version 3.0.
  • by RockMFR (1022315) on Friday November 09, 2007 @04:02AM (#21291875)
    Can it see why kids love cinnamon toast crunch?
  • by clarkkent09 (1104833) on Friday November 09, 2007 @04:07AM (#21291893)
    I think it's obvious where they got the idea for the design of the robot. Just compare the two images, similarities are obvious:

    http://file.shanghaidaily.com/News/Image//2007/2007-11/2007-11-08/20071108_337360_01.jpg [shanghaidaily.com]

    http://hubpages.com/u/49849_f260.jpg [hubpages.com]
  • ... does it run linux?

    Imagine a wireless beowulf cluster of robotic maids with tv screens built into their ass !!

  • The next version, SHODAN, will no longer be restricted to understanding voice commands, but will give and enforce it's own commands.
  • A nice article, really, but it is meant for too broad an audience... I mean a lot of research teams claim to be going for those goals, but where's the proof? If anyone has more specific info on what these guys did, pls share
  • could eventually allow the robot to help the elderly or become a "good household mate" for families

    A machine that takes shit from people. Cool.

  • Funny (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jagdish (981925) on Friday November 09, 2007 @10:31AM (#21294091)
    9 Comments moderated to +5, and all of them moderated Funny. Will someone post an insightful comment already?
    • by JazzLad (935151)
      I would have modded the first post as insightful if I had mod points today (of course, then I'd have wasted the point telling you about it, oh well).
  • And so with voice technology and a new personality to "fit in" with humans, we can look forward to having the following conversation:

    "I think you ought to know I'm feeling very depressed," it said. Its voice was low and hopeless.

    "Oh God," muttered Zaphod and slumped into a seat.

    "Well," said Trillian in a bright compassionate tone, "here's something to occupy you and keep your mind off things."

    "It won't work," droned Marvin, "I have an exceptionally large mind."

    Shamelessly taken from The

  • But what will you do when it learns to kick back on the couch and watch reality TV shows all day? Will your telling it to change the channel make it angry? Angry enough to KILL?!
  • The current state of development of this robot doesn't sound advanced at all, compared to other ongoing research with "intelligent" robots. They won't be to worried about that, no doubt there will not be a lack of big industry/government funding in China for such a project. In fact I suspect that is probably its only purpose, a nice cash-cow. Looks a bit like a toy robot......but beware, remember the toy robot in "Kentucky Fried Movie"!!!
  • I remember the days when /. submissions had summaries actually written by the submitter [engadget.com].
  • and starts spamming us all? It is China we're talking about here, after all.

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