How Google’s machine learning is turning robots into grasping humans

For humans, grasping objects is literally child’s play. Babies are born with a reflex to grasp a finger, which over time and with the aid of vision, develops into the capacity to clasp objects of various shapes with higher precision. Google is now using machine learning to teach a group robotic arms to grasp household objects by mimicking the feedback processes that humans rely on for hand-eye coordination. These processes allow us to make tiny motor adjustments to do things such as serving a tennis ball and washing dishes. Thanks to that feedback mechanism, Google says its robotic arm can now “observe its own gripper” and correct its actions when grasping an object. Researchers led by Google scientist Sergey Levine noted that today’s robots usually observe a scene, create…


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