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Algorithm Tells Robots Where Nearby Humans are Headed

By MIT News

June 17, 2019

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Last year, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and car manufacturer BMW programmed a robot to momentarily stop if a person passed by, but the robot was overly cautious and would freeze in place. Members of the same MIT team have developed a new algorithm that accurately aligns partial trajectories in real time, allowing motion predictors to accurately anticipate the timing of a person's motion.

The researchers applied the new algorithm to the same robotic system, and found that rather than freezing in place, the robot simply moved out of the way when a person walked by.

Said MIT researcher Julie Shah, "This technique is one of the many ways we’re working on robots better understanding people.”

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