To train robots how to work independently but cooperatively, researchers at the University of Cincinnati gave them a relatable task: move a couch.
If you’ve ever helped someone move furniture, you know it takes coordination — simultaneously pushing or pulling and reacting based on what your helper is doing. That makes it an ideal problem to examine collaboration between robots, said Andrew Barth, a doctoral student in UC’s College of Engineering and Applied Science.
“It’s a good metaphor for cooperation,” Barth said.
In the Intelligent Robotics and Autonomous Systems Lab of UC aerospace engineering professor Ou Ma, student researchers developed artificial intelligence to train robots to work together to move a couch — or in this case a long rod that served as a stand-in — around two obstacles and through a narrow door in computer simulations.
“We made it a little more difficult on ourselves. We want to accomplish