Terminator-esq Learning Robot Being Developed in Germany

Germany’s Bielefeld University has developed a “learning” robot attached to arms big enough to rip the head off of old Arnie Schwarzenegger.   The robot has the look of a Terminator, itself, and has the ability to identify, label, grasp and move a variety of things in its reach.

Bielefield U’s other recent project FloBi is  a robot that is capable of “showing human expressions” that look about as expressive as Mr Bill’s early clay-mation “oh-no!”  The abilities of the robot seem limited to the basics at the moment, although there are reports that the design team is already working on more advanced versions.  Most of these are accomplished by “talking” to a human counterpart, that utilizes a special glove to “teach” the robot how to pick up objects. The name BARTHOC comes from a smooshing together of the phrase: Bielefeld Anthropomorphic Robot for Human-Oriented Communication.  But even so, it sounds creepy. No doubt the Rise of the Machines is nigh.

Barthoc Robot

The video shows the Terminator-esq upper torso sitting across the table of a gentleman who is testing the robot by taunting it with apples and telling it how to pick up certain objects (his comment about “use three finger gesture” makes me wonder if they teach the ‘bot the “one finger gesture”.)  At present this guy is too big and bulky to be as useful as the various types of servant robots like those we’ve taken a look at a while back or as creepy  as certain  “celebrity look-alike” bots .

Barthoc Robot Image Two

Lucky for John and Sarah Connor types, this bot is pretty slow to figure things out.  There’s no real proof from the video or any of the information via the web that the robot is close to being an Artificial Intelligence – but the prospect of a robot like this is still pretty creepy.   The “learning” phase seems to be a type of programming which teaches the bot to identify and move certain objects.

Overall the bot seems to be both promising and frightening.  I’d be awfully careful about anyone who asks “have you seen this boy.”

Via: Plastic Pals

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