Should Robots Be Self-aware?

  • Publish date: Monday، 18 July 2022 Last update: Tuesday، 19 July 2022
Should Robots Be Self-aware?

While growing up, each person develops an awareness of his body image that helps him in all aspects of life, from moving to dressing, and knowing when there are obstacles that hinder his abilities, but it's not just humans! A team from Columbia Engineering has created the first robot that can imagine itself! Follow the article to find out more.

The Robot... A baby Acquires Skills

The researchers noted that their new robot created a kinematic model of itself, which is used to plan movements, reach goals, and avoid obstacles in a number of different situations without any help from the researchers. In other words, the robot became self-aware. How did that happen?

Well, these researchers put the robot in the middle of a circle of five streaming cameras as if they'd put a child in a hall of mirrors and let it explore what all of its features and movements look like.

Just like a baby, the robot would vibrate and twist itself to learn what it looked like while performing various motor commands. The study authors concluded that the robot could learn whole-body morphology through visual self-modeling to adapt to multiple motion planning and control tasks.

Why Do Robots Need to Be Self-aware?

Columbia engineers say giving robots the ability to imagine themselves without assistance could be an important step forward in automation, and society needs more self-reliant robots: “Self-modeling is a primitive form of self-awareness,” says the researcher. "If a robot, animal, or human has an accurate self-model, it can do better in the world, can make better decisions, and have an evolutionary advantage."

Despite the risks of giving machines more autonomy, one researcher asserts that the amount of self-awareness this particular robot has is “trivial compared to humans, and yet we have to beware so that we can reap the benefits while minimizing the risks.”

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