Video of the Day: HIRO, a Robot That Learns and Acts on Its Own

Just as we've become accustomed to algorithms constructed by humans but unleashed on the world where they can morph and evolve, robots have started to learn and function on their own once released by their human overlords. "Robots that have the ability to 'learn' and do specific tasks are nothing new," TechCrunch reminds us, "but truly autonomous models are still a thing of the future."

If efforts from the Tokyo Institute of Technology are successful, that future could be rapidly approaching. There, engineers and scientists are "working on a robot that's supposed to be able to learn, adapt to new situations and act in a human-like way someday," according to TechCrunch.

The video embedded below shows HIRO, a robot that uses SOINN (Self-Organizing Incremental Neural Network) to learn from new situations. "This robot remembers only basic knowledge, and it can apply that knowledge to its immediate situation," one of the programmers responsible for HIRO explains in the video. "If it doesn't know enough, it stops, and reacts by saying, 'I can't do this because I don't know how.'" But what makes this robot especially interesting (or frightening, depending on one's perspective), is that, once it recognizes it doesn't know how to do something, it can tap into the Web or the neural network of other robots like it. From there, it will learn, retaining the information it might need to complete similar tasks in the future.

Watch other Videos on the Technology Channel.

Presented by

Nicholas Jackson is a former associate editor at The Atlantic.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Stop-Motion Tour of New York City

A filmmaker animated hundreds of still photographs to create this Big Apple flip book

Video

The Absurd Psychology of Restaurant Menus

Would people eat healthier if celery was called "cool celery?"

Video

This Japanese Inn Has Been Open For 1,300 Years

It's one of the oldest family businesses in the world.

Video

What Happens Inside a Dying Mind?

Science cannot fully explain near-death experiences.

More in Technology

Just In