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.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

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

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Technology

Just In