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Taskmaster Robots Watch While You Work in Case You Miss a Step

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The Watch-Bot robot observes workers on an automotive assembly line.

The new Watch-bot robot can watch people work, learn the steps making up the task at hand, and remind the people when they forget a step.

Credit: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Researchers at Stanford and Cornell universities have developed Watch-bot, a robot that can watch people work, learn the steps that make up the task, and remind people when they forget a step.

In 24 trials monitoring humans working in the office and kitchen, Watch-bot was about 60-percent accurate in identifying the missed task.

Watch-bot is comprised of a depth-sensing camera mounted on a tripod, which is connected to a computer and laser pointer. The researchers say Watch-bot could help people with daily activities, especially elderly people who want to live independently.

The researchers want to conduct more tests before they trust the robotic system with vital safety tasks.

The system's best feature is its simplicity, notes Stanford University researcher Ashutosh Saxena.

The researchers predict Watch-bot could only require about a week of watching humans working in the office or at home to learn enough to give helpful reminders.

From New Scientist
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Abstracts Copyright © 2016 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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