Nvidia is using VR to train robots to play games

If you're attending the ongoing Siggraph 2017 conference, one booth you may want to check out is Nvidia's, as it has a robot there you can play dominoes with. While that's not that exciting in and of itself, what is, is how the robot was trained. Nvidia made use of virtual reality to train its domino playing robot and believes that that's the best way to teach them in the future.

"Skills like the ability to pour a cup of coffee, provide care for the elderly, perform surgery, or play a game of dominoes, are the key to putting robotics to work in the lives of the world’s more than 7 billion people," Nvidia said in a statement and it plans to showcase this mentality at Siggraph.

There will be two exhibitions for people to enjoy at the show. First, is playing the game with the robot in the real world, but the second takes you into the virtual. Known as Project Holodeck, users will don an unnamed virtual reality headset and then will get a chance to play a game against the robot again, but in the virtual realm.

That will give viewers a close-up look at how Isaac the robot was trained, using a combination of machine learning and computer vision, to teach it to understand physical space and interactions with real people, without the risk of injury or damage that is inherent in the real world.

Nvidia isn't just marketing its robotic technology with these demonstrations, but that learning environment too. It sees it as a great way to prototype products, teach smart electronics and robotics to interact with one another and humans and even build games and complicated software packages in the future.

Image source: Nvidia

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