Published on October 8th, 2019 | by Emergent Enterprise0
Toyota is Using VR to Train Robots as In-home Helpers
Sometimes one emergent technology can take advantage of another to complete difficult tasks more efficiently and quickly. Christine Fisher shares an example of this at autoblog.com with a post about the Toyota Research Institute (TRI) using VR to train robots. In the VR environment, TRI essentially trains the robot by going through the exact motions needed like picking up a cup or opening a door. This approach should make robot programming easier as every robotic action will not need complex code for every movement. Perhaps even a layperson could “program” a robot using VR.
Photo source: Toyota Research Institute (TRI)
The VR training system allows human teachers to train robots on arbitrary tasks
Home robots could make all of our lives easier, and perhaps most importantly, they could allow seniors to live more independently. But training robots to operate in homes is difficult because each home is unique and filled with so many objects in different combinations and layouts. Toyota Research Institute (TRI) may have a solution: using virtual reality to change the way we train robots.
The VR training system allows human teachers to see what the robot is seeing live, in 3D, from its sensors. The teacher can instruct the robot and annotate the 3D scene, for instance adding a note on how to grasp a handle. This allows human trainers to teach robots arbitrary tasks with a variety of objects, instead of specific tasks like they would perform in a more controlled setting.