jcasman writes "Wired's got a piece on building a better robotic hand at Stanford. The new robot is called Stair 1.0, and scientists are hoping to take a cue from human children for how to teach a robot to learn. 'When a computer fails at a task, it spouts an error message. Babies, on the other hand, just try again a different way, exploring the world by grabbing new objects -- shoving them into their mouths if possible -- to acquire additional data. This built-in drive to explore teaches us how to use our brains and bodies. Now a number of hand-focused roboticists are building machines with the same childlike motivation to explore, fail, and learn through their hands.'"