A 6-foot-tall, one-armed robot named Stair 1.0 balances on a modified Segway platform in the doorway of a Stanford University conference room. It has an arm, cameras and laser scanners for eyes, and a tangle of electrical intestines stuffed into its base.
The next Stair will look for the object in its hand and measure the force its fingers are applying to determine whether it's holding anything. It will plan an action, execute it, and observe the result, completing a feedback loop. And it will keep going through the loop until it succeeds at its task.
When a computer fails at a task, it spouts an error message. Babies, on the other hand, just try again a different way, exploring the world by grabbing new objects — shoving them into their mouths if possible — to acquire additional data.
Now hopefully this research will advance Computer Vision and Computer Intelligence, and be available to computer scientists.