The Heartless Researchers Enjoyably Topple Cute Soccer-playing Robots

Enlarge / In a nonetheless from a DeepMind demo video, a researcher pushes a small humanoid robotic to the bottom.


On Wednesday, researchers from DeepMind launched a paper detailing the usage of deep reinforcement studying to coach miniature humanoid robots. They had been in a position to purchase advanced motion abilities and strategic understanding, leading to environment friendly efficiency in a simulated one-on-one soccer sport.

Accompanying the paper was a 27-second video that confirmed one of many experimenters repeatedly pushing a tiny humanoid robotic to the bottom because it tried to attain. Regardless of the interference, the robotic managed to punt the ball into the aim, marking a small however noticeable victory.

On the demo web site for “Studying Agile Soccer Expertise for a Bipedal Robotic with Deep Reinforcement Studying,” the researchers framed the toppling of the robots as a key a part of a “robustness to pushes” analysis, highlighting the power of the robots to carry out in a dynamic and agile method regardless of being inherently fragile.

The video acquired blended reactions, with some expressing concern for the little robots and others discovering it entertaining.

  • “Really feel kinda dangerous for these little dudes,” tweeted Kenneth Cassel. “Just let him play soccer in peace.”
  • “It’s onerous to not anthropomorphize. My mind says, STOP BEING MEAN! Lol,” said John Weller.
  • “Cease abusing the little dude,” tweeted Amr Awadallah.

The work performed by DeepMind is spectacular as they had been in a position to train the robots to play soccer utilizing deep reinforcement studying. They educated the abilities in isolation earlier than composing them into the match setting. The ensuing coverage displays sturdy and dynamic motion abilities in addition to a fundamental strategic understanding of the sport.

There are issues about treating the robots this manner, with some questioning if it’s unwise to topple them with such glee as machines turn out to be extra embodied and conscious.