Presence of hearing significantly improves robots’ perception skills

There is no doubt that with the development of AI scientists can create more and more intelligent and technologically advanced agents. It now turns out that we can further improve robots’ perception by equipping them with the ability to hear.

Recent study conducted by Carnegie Mellon University researches show that adding the sense of hearing would significantly increase robots’ perceptive skills, which so far are mostly based on vision and, more and more often, touch. Hearing could help robots classify and differentiate objects from each other as well as recognize the action that caused the sound they hear.

Results of the study were presented during recent virtual Robotics Science and Systems conference. Researchers managed to create an impressive database of video and audio samples of everyday objects, interacting with a surface of a specially designed tray, which was a part of the robot’s arm. They also recorded some sounds of a robot pushing the object around the surface.

Based on this dataset, scientist wanted to check how intelligent machines can obtain information from sound. As it turned out, audible information is not only useful for robots. The study shows that that acquiring information from sound on the example of one set of objects helped robots to predict physical properties of other objects they never interacted with before.

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