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Engineering household robots to have a little common sense | MIT News

From wiping up spills to serving up food, robots are being taught to carry out increasingly complicated household tasks. Many such home-bot trainees are learning through imitation; they are programmed to copy the motions that a human physically guides them through. It turns out that robots are excellent mimics. But unless engineers also program them…

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Multiple AI models help robots execute complex plans more transparently | MIT News

Your daily to-do list is likely pretty straightforward: wash the dishes, buy groceries, and other minutiae. It’s unlikely you wrote out “pick up the first dirty dish,” or “wash that plate with a sponge,” because each of these miniature steps within the chore feels intuitive. While we can routinely complete each step without much thought,…

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AI helps robots manipulate objects with their whole bodies | MIT News

Imagine you want to carry a large, heavy box up a flight of stairs. You might spread your fingers out and lift that box with both hands, then hold it on top of your forearms and balance it against your chest, using your whole body to manipulate the box.  Humans are generally good at whole-body…

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New technique helps robots pack objects into a tight space | MIT News

Anyone who has ever tried to pack a family-sized amount of luggage into a sedan-sized trunk knows this is a hard problem. Robots struggle with dense packing tasks, too. For the robot, solving the packing problem involves satisfying many constraints, such as stacking luggage so suitcases don’t topple out of the trunk, heavy objects aren’t…

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New method uses crowdsourced feedback to help train robots | MIT News

To teach an AI agent a new task, like how to open a kitchen cabinet, researchers often use reinforcement learning — a trial-and-error process where the agent is rewarded for taking actions that get it closer to the goal. In many instances, a human expert must carefully design a reward function, which is an incentive…

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