Home Robot beats human in mental and physical labyrinth test

Robot beats human in mental and physical labyrinth test

A robot has bested human opposition in a physical and mental task for the very first time.

CyberRunner AI is a robot that learns through a process called modular learning. Progressively storing ‘memories’ of the mistakes and successes that have come before.

Although this is not the Minotaur of Daedalus’ labyrinth, it is a test for the humans up against CyberRunner.

The challenge is to move a small ball from one part of the maze to the end, avoiding the pitfalls and dead-ends present on the game board.

Researchers at ETH Zurich University in Switzerland released footage of the contest and announced their new modular learning creation this week.

Motors versus muscle

The AI robot mimics the use of hands with two small motors and a camera is used to represent the robot’s eyes.

In a video posted by CyberRunner, we see the robot take on humans who had the same amount of time (6 hours) to practice the game.

Modular learning

CyberRunner’s site explains “The robot does not stop playing to learn; the algorithm runs concurrently with the robot playing the game. As a result, the robot keeps getting better, run after run.”

These ‘memories’ have resulted in CyberRunner completing the labyrinth in the fastest time ever set by a human. Interestingly the AI robot also developed “short-cuts” according to the researchers.

The company responsible for the robot said “Memory is kept of the collected experience. Using this memory, the model-based reinforcement learning algorithm learns how the system behaves.”

AI in 2023

We have seen artificial intelligence (AI) become a more prominent part of digital advancements.

Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan has been able to send a message to the electorate despite being in prison, thanks to an AI voice clone. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) created this as part of a four-minute communication for an online virtual rally.

Generative AI has also been used to develop the “future of AI romantic companionship” as Digi, a romantic digital companion reached app stores this week. Digi.ai, the company responsible for the robot hopes users will interact with the text-based avatar to create meaningful relationships.

Featured Image: cottonbro studio/ Pexels

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Brian-Damien Morgan
Features Writer

Brian-Damien Morgan is an award-winning journalist and features writer. He was lucky enough to work in the print sector for many UK newspapers before embarking on a successful career as a digital broadcaster and specialist. His work has spanned the public and private media sectors of the United Kingdom for almost two decades. Since 2007, Brian has continued to add to a long list of publications and institutions, most notably as Editor of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, winning multiple awards for his writing and digital broadcasting efforts. Brian would then go on to be integral to the Legacy 2014,…

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