Robot responds to complex commands

The “Tell me Dave” robot learns when people talk to it

The idea of talking to a machine as if it’s human is becoming reality. Though some robots can already follow verbal instructions, they must first be programmed with software code that allows them to respond in a predetermined way. But wouldn’t it be easier to avoid all of that and just be able to explain what you want a robot to do?

A new research project is focusing on doing just that. At Cornell University, a computer science team designed and built a learning robot as part of their “Tell me Dave” project. The Tell me Dave robot is based on Willow Garage’s PR2 robot, and was created from previous research that includes teaching robots to identify people’s activities by observing their movements, identifying objects and situations and responding based on previous experiences, and using visual and non-visual data to refine a robot’s understanding of objects.


Cornell’s Tell me Dave robot follows spoken instructions to learn new tasks. Image via Gizmag.

Equipped with a 3D camera and computer vision software, the Tell me Dave robot has been taught to associate objects with what they’re used for. Read More