Google Demos Snack-Fetching Robots

Google is one step closer to realizing its goal of a robotic helper, with a prototype of the robot working around its offices bringing snacks and drinks to workers. The mechanical assistant combines the physical capabilities of robots with the social and language skills of virtual chatbots to create an assistant that can understand and respond to requests, as well as determine the most efficient way of completing a task within their capabilities. The bots break down a requested task into smaller steps and determine the most appropriate and time-saving means of achieving it. The robot also features audio and visual sensors to allow it to autonomously navigate a space and identify items and areas applicable to a command. The robots’ language capabilities were developed using a variety of sites including Wikipedia and social media, allowing them to interpret voice commands and respond accordingly. 

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