Researchers at the University of Tokyo in Japan have trained a dual-armed robot to successfully peel a banana without crushing it, giving them hope of developing better-trained machines to perform simple “human” tasks.
A video by the researchers shows the robot carefully picking up a banana and peeling its outer layer utilizing both mechanical arms.
Researchers Heecheol Kim, Yoshiyuki Ohmura and Yasuo Kuniyoshi trained the robot using a method called “deep imitation learning,” where they would demonstrate the action of peeling a banana hundreds of times until the robot was able to successfully memorize and imitate the action.
The training process took the researchers about 13 hours before the robot was able to reach a consistent success rate.
Now managing to successfully perform the task 57% of the time, the robot provides a hopeful outlook on a future in which better-trained robots can perform more nimble, basic human tasks.
Kuniyoshi also believes that the ongoing labor shortage in Japan may be resolved with the help of these robots, as he foresees them performing human labor tasks at processing factories.