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posted by martyb on Friday September 04 2015, @07:37AM   Printer-friendly
from the What-would-you-call-a-machine-that-paddles-a-boat-for-you?--A-rowbot! dept.

A while back we discussed robot furniture. Now a restaurant in San Francisco is trying to build and run a restaurant run entirely by robots. Now granted, these are not robots like in Asimov's Robot Series. Instead of humanoid-style robots, these are highly specialized, single-purpose machines.

I can foresee a future populated by many, many robots, in which we didn't notice that we were surrounded by them — we were looking for Rosie the Robot and instead got inconspicuous robots that act as automated furniture and interactive surroundings.

What do my fellow Soylenters think? Are we on the verge of a "Robot Revolution" — even if it doesn't look like how 50s sci-fi imagined it would?


Original Submission

Related Stories

Here's the Incredible Robotic Furniture You Didn't Know You Needed 14 comments

A light topic for a summer Friday:

Bookshelves that pop out just the book you need. Kitchen tables that set themselves. Bathrooms that adjust to your personal comfort levels.

The robots in this video from The Economist do absolutely none of those things. But they're pretty adorable nonetheless. Stanford University created a motorized foot stool that can be summoned by its human captors owners. It's either the best footstool or the worst R2-D2 ripoff, and as you can see in the video, some people treated it more like the latter than the former.

There's also a chest of drawers that opens up to provide the right tool, and is also designed to respond to being tickled. (NOT CREEPY AT ALL!) Also there's a couch that can move itself around the room, and a Rubbermaid garbage can that serves as the second worst R2-D2 imitator in the video. You'll still feel bad when it collides into another, non-robotic garbage can though. Just imagine trying to get comfortable with your feet oppressing that adorable ottoman.

There's video accompanying the article as well. What would your ideal robotic furniture be?


Original Submission

Nvidia Announces “Moonshot” to Create Embodied Human-Level AI in Robot Form 16 comments

https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2024/03/nvidia-announces-moonshot-to-create-embodied-human-level-ai-in-robot-form/

In sci-fi films, the rise of humanlike artificial intelligence often comes hand in hand with a physical platform, such as an android or robot. While the most advanced AI language models so far seem mostly like disembodied voices echoing from an anonymous data center, they might not remain that way for long. Some companies like Google, Figure, Microsoft, Tesla, Boston Dynamics, and others are working toward giving AI models a body. This is called "embodiment," and AI chipmaker Nvidia wants to accelerate the process.

[...] To that end, Nvidia announced Project GR00T, a general-purpose foundation model for humanoid robots. As a type of AI model itself, Nvidia hopes GR00T (which stands for "Generalist Robot 00 Technology" but sounds a lot like a famous Marvel character) will serve as an AI mind for robots, enabling them to learn skills and solve various tasks on the fly. In a tweet, Nvidia researcher Linxi "Jim" Fan called the project "our moonshot to solve embodied AGI in the physical world."

[...] According to Fan, Project GR00T is a cornerstone of his newly founded GEAR Lab (short for "Generalist Embodied Agent Research"). During his time at Nvidia, Fan has specialized in using simulations of physical worlds to train AI models, and now that approach is extending to robotics. "At GEAR, we are building generally capable agents that learn to act skillfully in many worlds, virtual and real," wrote Fan in a tweet. "Join us on the journey to land on the moon."

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by isostatic on Friday September 04 2015, @08:36AM

    by isostatic (365) on Friday September 04 2015, @08:36AM (#232174) Journal

    The "robot" installed at this first Burger-G restaurant looked nothing like the robots of popular culture. It was not hominid like C-3PO or futuristic like R2-D2 or industrial like an assembly line robot. Instead it was simply a PC sitting in the back corner of the restaurant running a piece of software. The software was called "Manna", version 1.0*.

    http://marshallbrain.com/manna1.htm [marshallbrain.com]

    • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 04 2015, @08:48AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 04 2015, @08:48AM (#232175)

      Tell us more about how you hate the NSA but you approve of the Australia Project even though privacy does not exist in your utopia.

      • (Score: 2) by isostatic on Friday September 04 2015, @09:37AM

        by isostatic (365) on Friday September 04 2015, @09:37AM (#232184) Journal

        Not sure where you get that from? Firstly you assume I hate the nsa (I expect them to spy on me, it's their job), secondly that I approve of the singularity crap.

        Not sure what would be better, but it seems clear the best bet would be the austrailia thing without the implant.

        I do like austrailia though. Probably a good place to emigrate too to try and avoid the worst of what's to come in this century.

        • (Score: 4, Funny) by deimtee on Friday September 04 2015, @12:05PM

          by deimtee (3272) on Friday September 04 2015, @12:05PM (#232203) Journal

          I do like austrailia though. Probably a good place to emigrate too to try and avoid the worst of what's to come in this century.

          Strewth mate! You haven't seen the bloody robot spiders we're going to get when the singularity hits. Not to mention the bloody rocket-assisted drop-bears.

          --
          If you cough while drinking cheap red wine it really cleans out your sinuses.
    • (Score: 1) by terryk30 on Saturday September 05 2015, @11:02AM

      by terryk30 (1753) on Saturday September 05 2015, @11:02AM (#232581)

      Am I the only one rolling their eyes when, predictably, someone brings up Manna in discussions like these? (And if it's now obligatory, how can it be insightful to do so?)

      That's it; here's the off-the-cuff version of something that's been brewing...

      Manna starts off interestingly, with the software managing the restaurant - and it all seems within the realm of possibility. But the settings and people portrayed later on, even though intended to be seen as equally plausible or inevitable in the sense of the overall theme, just seem ridiculous if you widen the scope. Two examples:

      • The apartments/complexes for those rendered idle (that the main character finds himself in before being "rescued" to the Star Trek paradise): Yes I'm being cynical, but what about the political structure of those that still have a role? Why would they be so accommodating (i.e. nice) to those without? Yes, even though it's all done with robots and cheap energy, presumably the incremental resources required and nonzero amount of directorship would still be subject to the vagaries (and denials) of those with power.
      • The 2 women from the Star Trek paradise who introduce the main character to their society: why are they so evangelical and professional? In this no-work paradise, don't they have their own agendas to pursue? How were they assigned to do new member orientation? Do they have performance reviews? Done by who?

      (More to flesh out...) In short, as much as I'm intrigued by new configurations of a post-scarcity economy, people are complicated and messy.

      • (Score: 2) by isostatic on Saturday September 05 2015, @02:50PM

        by isostatic (365) on Saturday September 05 2015, @02:50PM (#232625) Journal

        True. I think the first such story is an optimistic view of the future, more likely it will be sealed off cities akin to escape from XX, and only because bullets will cost too much.

        The second part of Elysium makes no sense - why wouldn't such a superior society allow far more refugees than those who happen to have inherited some good fortune.

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by patrick on Friday September 04 2015, @09:02AM

    by patrick (3990) on Friday September 04 2015, @09:02AM (#232176)

    I can foresee a future populated by many, many robots, in which we didn't notice that we were surrounded by them...

    You're "foreseeing" present day. [youtube.com]

    We're not 'on the verge of a "Robot Revolution"', we're already knee-deep in it. The more apt questions are the ones CGP Grey poses in that video.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 04 2015, @10:46AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 04 2015, @10:46AM (#232191)

    Robot "revolution" had begun a while back. Even in China factories are automated.

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 04 2015, @12:21PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 04 2015, @12:21PM (#232208)

    I never got why robots should be humanoid anyway. I've once seen a demonstration where a humanoid robot operated a dredge (actually it did little more than moving a single control). My first thought was: Why make a humanoid robot that controls a dredge, instead of a dredgeoid robot?

    Note that Google also doesn't build a humanoid robot that can drive a car, it builds a caroid robot (yes, we call it a self-driving car, but what is a self-driving car other than a caroid robot?).

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 04 2015, @01:40PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 04 2015, @01:40PM (#232236)

      >I never got why robots should be humanoid anyway.

      ...

      >Why make a humanoid robot that controls a dredge, instead of a dredgeoid robot?

      Because the Human form gives you flexibility. That humanoid robot could control the dredge and then hop out and drive a fork lift ( without the owner having to buy a new "forkliftoid" ) and then move over to operate some other piece of gear originally designed for human workers. Having said that, I'm thinking that we'll end up with both your specialized 'oids and the humanoid models. The right tool for the right job as they say.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by DeathMonkey on Friday September 04 2015, @05:59PM

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Friday September 04 2015, @05:59PM (#232357) Journal

      I never got why robots should be humanoid anyway.
       
      Backwards compatibility.

    • (Score: 2) by darkfeline on Friday September 04 2015, @11:01PM

      by darkfeline (1030) on Friday September 04 2015, @11:01PM (#232459) Homepage

      It's an API problem. Humanoid robots will be able to use everything designed with a human API. Thus, we will only ever have to design things with a human API, instead of both a robot API and a human API for override or emergency purposes. Plus, it makes the robots backward-compatible with all of our previous infrastructure which has been designed for humans.

      API lock-in is an issue even in physical space.

      --
      Join the SDF Public Access UNIX System today!
  • (Score: 2) by morgauxo on Friday September 04 2015, @02:24PM

    by morgauxo (2082) on Friday September 04 2015, @02:24PM (#232251)

    I'm certain there will be a lot of Rosie the Robots out there soon. The catch is they aren't replacing Rosie the housekeeper, they are replacing Rosie Palms.

    • (Score: 2) by morgauxo on Friday September 04 2015, @02:31PM

      by morgauxo (2082) on Friday September 04 2015, @02:31PM (#232253)

      For that matter they already have replaced Ross the pool boy!

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 04 2015, @03:21PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 04 2015, @03:21PM (#232283)

        Tell me more of this replacement for Ross the poolboy...

        • (Score: 2) by morgauxo on Tuesday September 15 2015, @01:07PM

          by morgauxo (2082) on Tuesday September 15 2015, @01:07PM (#236611)

          He really shakes things up.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Friday September 04 2015, @03:15PM

    by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Friday September 04 2015, @03:15PM (#232279) Homepage Journal

    Voice-recognition telephone systems DO NOT RESPOND TO MY VOICE.

    "Thank you for calling Acer Customer Service. To get you started, please tell us how we can help you."

    "Technical support."

    "You sound like you're trying to order a pizza. May we suggest our extra-spicy buffalo wings."

    ProTip: This doesn't happen when I speak on the phone to homo sapiens.

    --
    Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
  • (Score: 2) by LoRdTAW on Friday September 04 2015, @03:52PM

    by LoRdTAW (3755) on Friday September 04 2015, @03:52PM (#232297) Journal

    Nothing snuck up on us. I figured the automat would make a comeback. But this time as a hybrid robotic/restaurant setup. Take McDonalds for example. They are now trialing kiosks to take orders from customers. Next thing you know they have an automated assembly line for making fries, burgers and nuggets. None of that is difficult. Just look at prepared frozen food. Granted not everything can yet be automated 100%. But a cheeseburger, fries and a drink is easy. I wouldn't be surprised if we see robots making fries or burgers at an McDonalds express with one or two meat bags mopping the floors, bathrooms, cleaning the tables and making sure the robots are working.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 04 2015, @04:11PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 04 2015, @04:11PM (#232304)

    For now, at least, it relies on human components: about five employees involved in prepping, assembling, and expediting behind the store’s façade.

    It's a walk-through. Amazing.