Artificially intelligent robots are being designed to help people in their homes

Alex Lasker
·2 min read

The Toyota Research Institute (TRI) is creating artificially intelligent robots that can assist and empower people in their own homes, allowing older generations to age in place and with dignity.

Credit: TRI
Credit: TRI

According to the United Nations, the global population over the age of 65 is projected to more than double over the next three decades, meaning that over 1.5 billion people around the world will be 65 or older by the year 2050.

This unprecedented, impending population shift has inspired TRI to seek options to address the social and economic impacts the graying population will have on the world.

TRI says it is focused on creating the technological breakthroughs necessary to make assistive home robots a reality, despite anticipated difficulties. Operating and navigating in a home is, understandably, very challenging for robots, according to the institute, since “every home is unique.”

As demonstrated on its YouTube channel, the institute is in the process of teaching a “general-purpose robot” to perform useful tasks in real homes, like putting away dishes, cleaning the floors and fetching beverages from the refrigerator.

Credit: TRI
Credit: TRI

The team says it believes that teaching robots singular tasks such as these is a promising first step to achieving its broader vision of “fleet learning,” a combination of “cloud robotics” and “deep learning.”

The premise goes something like this: If one TRI robot learns to perform a task, it can then share this knowledge with all other robots so they can perform the task in new situations, effectively enabling an exponential increase in robotic capabilities.

Verizon’s ultra-fast 5G wideband — which is a whopping 25 times faster than today’s 4G networks in the U.S. — will help to pave the way for quicker, more seamless learning and communication between artificially intelligent devices like TRI’s robots.

Watch the bots in action in the video above.

If you enjoyed this article, check out the Hollywood sci-fi technology that 5G could make a reality.

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