Indian aims to better daily life with smart robots

Ashutosh Saxena, an assistant professor of computer science at Cornell University in the US, is working to bring robots into homes and offices that can clean up a messy room, assemble a flat-pack bookcase or unload a dishwasher — all without human intervention.

Saxena, who has done his BTech from IIT Kanpur in 2004 and joined the Cornell faculty in 2009, believes robots can make people’s lives better and more productive, according to a Cornell release.

“Just like people buy a car, I envision that in five to 10 years, people will buy an assistive robot that will be cheaper or about the same cost as a car,” Saxena was quoted as saying by a university release.

One of the biggest technical challenges, according to Saxena, is endowing robots with the ability to learn in uncertain environments.

It’s one thing to make a robot do simple tasks such as picking up a pen or turning sides, but to make a robot understand how to pick up an unknown object or navigate an unknown room is quite different.

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