MIT designs robot to be a good pedestrian and not bump into you on the sidewalk

Engineers at MIT are working on instilling robots with “socially aware” navigation, allowing them to observe humans’ code of pedestrian conduct.

Generally speaking, most pedestrians follow a set of unspoken social conventions when they go out and about our day. Things like don’t walk into other people; try to walk past instead of through groups; keep to the right of the sidewalk and pass on the left; avoid incoming obstacles and walk at a steady pace so other pedestrians can avoid a collision in turn.

Robots aren’t at that level of social finesse just yet. So a team of researchers from MIT is trying to program it into the bots so they can better integrate and function alongside humans in society — while keeping annoying bumps in foot traffic to a minimum.

Read more: MIT designs robot to be a good pedestrian and not bump into you on the sidewalk

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Mike Rawson

Mike Rawson has recently re-awoken a long-standing interest in robots and our automated future.

He lives in London with a single android – a temperamental vacuum cleaner – but is looking forward to getting more cyborgs soon.

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MIT designs robot to be a good pedestrian and not bump into you on the…

by Mike Rawson time to read: 1 min
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