A litter of robotic puppies exhibiting a form of artificial curiosity is being put through kindergarten at Sony’s research and development lab in Paris, France.
The Aibo pups display an innate artificial curiosity similar to that seen in baby animals. They slowly learn to explore the surrounding world, before playing with toys and trying to communicate with other Aibo dogs.
In an experiment called the Aibo Playground Project, Oudeyer and
Kaplan placed the robotic pups in a child’s activity-pen and left them
to investigate. They found that the robots learned progressively,
initially just moving their limbs in an uncoordinated manner, before
tentatively exploring their surroundings and biting nearby soft toys.
After several hours, however, the bots started kicking their toys and even trying to interact with conventional Aibo dogs. A short video
(Windows Media Video 7.8MB), available from the researchers web site,
shows an Aibo pup that has learnt to play with its toys and bark at
another robot nearby.
The project’s web site is at The Playground Experiment / Sony CSL Paris.
I watched the videos… um, let’s just say it’s no Puppy Bowl.