These are external links and will open in a new window Researchers in Texas are developing robots that have minds of their own. The scientists are creating systems that can learn for themselves and be able to operate in the home, the workplace and even on the sports field.

The University of Texas, Austin team is incorporating artificial intelligence into its machines so that they can deal with real-world situations. Among the systems are automated assistants that will carry out simple tasks in a working office Science fiction films predicted that in the future we would have intelligent robots.

In the Day the Earth Stood Still, we had the sinister Gort; in Forbidden Planet there was Robby; and in the TV series Lost In Space it was Zachary Smith’s nemesis, the Robot. Although we have had robots in factories for decades, getting them to leave the shop-floor has been no easy task.

In manufacturing plants, they carry out pre-ordained, repetitive tasks all day and night. But if they step outside, they are unable to deal with the chaos of the real world.

It is a place where order and routine are gone. Even the simplest of tasks are complicated by the unpredictability and vagueness of human interaction. Read more from bbc.co.uk…

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