A robot in sync with a man may sound like the stuff of sci-fi movies, but with the aid of neural networks, a group of scientists from the Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad (IIIT-A) have got early success in developing intelligent machines which are in tune with humans.
These scientists have succeeded in understanding the pattern of reactor flexes and movements generated in response to inputs of sensory organs and managed to develop programmable robot that is now able to not only recognise verbal commands of a man and react accordingly but also understand road signals and hand made gestures.
"We have made a breakthrough in deciphering the intricacies of labyrinthine alley of Central Pattern Generator (CPG), the mechanism responsible for generating the signals embedded with the code of particular gestures and movements ordered in response to inputs received through sensory organs.
Simply put, the CPG controls the movements and reflexes of the organs while responding to a given situation or command," said Dean (Academics) and a robotic expert Prof GC Nandi who is leading the group of IIIT-A scientists, which has now attained partial success in the mission.
He said that as part of the project, IIIT-A team has now managed to programme the functions and mechanism of CPGs.
"We have succeeded in developing proto-symbol classifier for these robots. These proto-symbols provide the robot with goals that it can achieve by using its sensorimotor mapping to navigate, for example, toward food and away from danger. These proto-symbiol classifier enable the machine to to prepare a pool of comprehensible pattern of signals and its subcequent meaning to the robo," he explained.
Prof Nandi said that following the team's success, the IIIT-A robo can now respond to initial and basic signals call for delivery of water, traffic signals and many other hand gestures besides verbal commands. "This mean that the robo can now even respond to the finest of gestures like a blink of an eye or a small smile and respond accordingly," he added.