Toyota is making AI-trained breakfast bots in a ‘kindergarten for robots’

A picture of robotic arms whisking eggs in a metal bowl.
Do you want some frittata? | Image: Toyota Research Institute

Yeah, so Toyota Research Institute (TRI) used generative AI in a “kindergarten for robots” to teach robots how to make breakfast — or at least, the individual tasks needed to do so — and it didn’t take hundreds of hours of coding and errors and bug fixing. Instead, researchers accomplished this by giving robots a sense of touch, plugging them into an AI model, and then, as you would a human being, showing them how.

The sense of touch is “one key enabler,” researchers say. By giving the robots the big, pillowy thumb (my term, not theirs) that you see in the video below, the model can “feel” what it’s doing, giving it more information. That makes difficult tasks easier to carry out than with sight alone.

Ben Burchfiel, the lab’s manager…

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