Teaching robots what a dog knows intuitively. One application: discerning walkable surfaces.
“Our intuition for this was that dogs are really good at finding where to walk — where they’re allowed to go and where they’re not,” says Ehsani. “This is a very hard task for a computer because it requires a lot of prior knowledge.” This knowledge might be whether a surface is too steep to walk on or if it’s spiky and uncomfortable. It would be time-consuming to program a robot with all these rules, but a dog already knows them all. So by watching Kelp’s behavior, the neural network learned these rules without having to be taught them. In other words, it learned from the dog.