Creating a robot that can be taught by anyone requires tackling some of the hardest challenges in the field of robotics
Today, robots are expensive and perform highly specialized tasks. But what if a robot could be affordable and taught by just about anyone? They could help people with whatever they needed, doing tasks we haven't even dreamed up yet.
Building robots that can operate autonomously in unstructured human environments, like our homes and offices, is a complex, unsolved problem. It requires tackling and integrating some of the hardest hardware and software challenges in the field of robotics today. The Everyday Robot Project is building a new type of learning robot — one that can eventually learn to help everyone, every day.
The Everyday Robot Project is developing a general-purpose learning robot that can operate autonomously in unstructured environments.
Robots that can help in everyday environments
Today, most robots operate in environments specifically designed and structured for them. The tasks they complete are very specific, and robots need to be painstakingly coded to perform those tasks in exactly the right way, at exactly the right time. As a result, robots are incapable of adapting to the unpredictable and unstructured nature of everyday life.
The Everyday Robot Project is making robots that can safely operate in human environments, where things change every day, people show up unexpectedly, and obstacles appear out of nowhere. In order for robots to be useful day to day, they need to understand and make sense of the spaces where we live and work, and adapt to them as they gain experience. This requires new forms of machine intelligence.
Getting robots to a place where they’re truly helpful to people in their everyday lives requires tackling some of the hardest challenges in robotics and attracts people with a diverse array of skills from all over the world.
Robotic systems for an unstructured world
Teaching robots new skills
The Everyday Robot project is building robots that can learn from human demonstration, the experiences of other robots, and even from simulation in the Cloud. The Everyday Robot project has collaborated with Google AI to explore new ways of unlocking these challenges.
Experimenting in the real world
There’s still a long way to go, and the only way to make progress in an unstructured world is to experiment in one. Today the team is testing its robots in Alphabet locations across Northern California. The robots are learning how to navigate and assist in workplace environments shared with people. They’re doing things like sorting recycling (pretty slowly for now). The initial results are encouraging and the team continues to research, experiment, and learn in order to get robots to a place where they can help everyone, everyday.