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Tag: measurements

This robot dog would be more than a toy

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Robot dogs are a dime a dozen — well, not quite, the latest Sony Aibo goes for about $1,700 — but the point is they’ve become pretty common in the overpriced toy market.

A researcher at the University of Washington, though, is working on a version of a robot dog that promises to do more than than sit and bark and (though real dogs seldom do this) play music that you program into them.

Normally, when we hear the phrase artificial intelligence we think of intelligence that mimics that of a human.

Kiana Ehsani and colleagues have gathered a unique data set of canine behavior and used it to train an AI system to make dog-like decisions, according to MIT Technology Review.

They say their approach opens up a new area of AI research that studies the capabilities of other intelligent beings on our planet, which strikes me as a good thing — given how humans often botch things up.

To gather their initial data, the team fitted a dog with inertial measurement units on its legs, tail, and body to record. They also fitted a GoPro camera to the dog’s head to record the visual scene, sampled at a rate of five frames per second, and a microphone on the dog’s back to record sound.

It gathered about 24,500 video frames with synchronized body position and movement data to further understand how dogs, act, plan and learn, and to try to predict a dog’s future movements based on those recorded ones.

The researchers say the system got the point that it could accurately predict the next five movements after seeing a sequence of five images.

No actual dog robot was built, just an AI system, but the far away goal appears to be a robot dog that could do everything a real dog does, up to and including sniffing out a trail, and helping the blind.

Of course we already have an abundance of dogs with a built-in knack for those kind of things but, human intelligence being what it is, we want to duplicate it in machine form. And more to the point, there are things to be learned in doing so.

The team loaded up a Malamute named Kelp M. Redmon with sensors, to record movements, video of the dog’s viewpoint, and a microphone.

They recorded hours of activities — walking in various environments, fetching things, playing at a dog park, eating — syncing the dog’s movements to what it saw.

The resulting data was used to train a new AI agent.

Their work so far gathered data from just one dog, and it was primarily on what the dog saw and heard and the movements it made. Much more baseline data would be needed to get anywhere — and giving a robot a nose able to sniff out all that dogs to would surely be daunting, if even doable.

But the research is continuing, and the researchers feel the approach could be used to better understand the intelligence of other animals as well, TechCrunch reported.

“We hope this work paves the way towards better understanding of visual intelligence and of the other intelligent beings that inhabit our world,” Ehsani said.

The soon-to-be world’s tallest dog?

***EXCLUSIVE***  SOUTHEND-ON-SEA, UNITED KINGDOM - UNDATED: Britain's biggest dog, 18 month old great Dane, Freddy seen realxing on the sofa with it's owner Claire Stoneman at their home in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, England.  Canine colossus Freddy is believed to be Britain's biggest dog. The Great Dane has been measured at 7ft 4in (2.24m) on his hind legs by owner Claire Stoneman. Although no official measurement has yet been made, that would make Freddy as tall as world-record holder Zeus, and significantly larger than Britain's current biggest dog Samson, who is 6ft 6in (1.98m). The gigantic dog began life as the runt of the litter, but experienced an astonishing growth spurt to reach his current size. Claire, a 38-year-old taxi driver from Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, who drives a Barbie-pink cab, lives with Freddy and his sister Fleur.   PHOTOGRAPH BY Matt Writtle / Barcroft Media  UK Office, London. T +44 845 370 2233 W www.barcroftmedia.com  USA Office, New York City. T +1 212 796 2458 W www.barcroftusa.com  Indian Office, Delhi. T +91 11 4053 2429 W www.barcroftindia.com

Freddy, an 18-month-old Great Dane from Great Britain, already stands 7-foot-4 on his hind legs, and he appears headed to taking the world’s tallest dog title away from a Great Dane in Michigan.

***EXCLUSIVE***  SOUTHEND-ON-SEA, UNITED KINGDOM - UNDATED: Britain's biggest dog, 18 month old great Dane, Freddy stands on its hind legs as owner Claire Stoneman feeds him outside her home in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, England.  Canine colossus Freddy is believed to be Britain's biggest dog. The Great Dane has been measured at 7ft 4in (2.24m) on his hind legs by owner Claire Stoneman. Although no official measurement has yet been made, that would make Freddy as tall as world-record holder Zeus, and significantly larger than Britain's current biggest dog Samson, who is 6ft 6in (1.98m). The gigantic dog began life as the runt of the litter, but experienced an astonishing growth spurt to reach his current size. Claire, a 38-year-old taxi driver from Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, who drives a Barbie-pink cab, lives with Freddy and his sister Fleur.   PHOTOGRAPH BY Matt Writtle / Barcroft Media  UK Office, London. T +44 845 370 2233 W www.barcroftmedia.com  USA Office, New York City. T +1 212 796 2458 W www.barcroftusa.com  Indian Office, Delhi. T +91 11 4053 2429 W www.barcroftindia.comHe’s outgrown Britain’s previous tallest dog, and has long since surpassed, in terms of height, his owner, Claire Stoneman, who stands 5 feet 4 inches.

Stoneman said Freddy was the runt of the litter, but he has grown quickly on a diet of regular dog food ($100 worth a week), peanut butter on toast, and sofas, of which he has destroyed — but not consumed — 14.

Stoneman said it took a while for Freddy, who now weighs 154 pounds, to get used to her small home in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex.

Stoneman said she and Freddy get up early for walks so they won’t encounter other dogs.

“If he wants to run after a dog, I wouldn’t be able to stop him,” she said.

The current world’s tallest dog is Zeus, a Great Dane from Otsego, Mich., who was 7-foot-4 (standing on his hind legs) when he was recognized by Guinness World Record in 2012.

You can find more photos of Freddy at the New York Post (click the link for the full slide show).

Freddy now measures 41 inches from foot to shoulder blade, compared with Zeus’ 44 inches.

(Photos: Bancroft Media via New York Post)