How this robot learned Jenga
4:16

How this robot learned Jenga

Science
[MUSIC] Welcome to What The Future. Your destination for all those stories that make you say WTF. Robots are already beating our chess champions, they're solving Rubik's Cube in a fraction of a second. And now those engineers [UNKNOWN] MIT, they've come up with yet another game for them to ruin. They taught this robotic arm to play Jenga. And spoiler alert, it's probably better than you. Its strategy is basically the same as yours. The robot uses a camera to look for For the ideal block to remove. Then it carefully pushes against it, using visual cues and a device that detects force to decide whether to keep moving that block or push it back and move on to another. The robot actually learns as it plays. Every time it's about to make a move, it weighs the possible outcome based on all the previous moves it's made. So what's the point? Well, right now robots aren't very good at deciding how much force is needed to accomplish a task. So this type of machine learning could be ideal for assembly line procedures that require a delicate touch kinda like threading a **** on a cell phone. [MUSIC] You know, the older I get the more I feel like I'm eventually going to need knee surgery after one of my weekend snow boarding trips which is why it's actually comforting to know that virtual reality is helping surgeons learn to do their jobs better before you ever even go under the knife. Consider this like a flight simulator but for surgery. Designed by fundamental VR, the Mayo Clinic is already using it to train surgeons. We've seen medical simulators before, but this is the first to combine imagery with haptic feedback. I can feel it going in. That's so weird. That means doctors actually feel realistic sensation. This is powered by Fundamental VR's haptic intelligence engine that mimics the feel of medical tools and human tissues. And it's not just realistic, it's actually cost effective. It costs less than the price of one human cadaver. Now, right now surgeons can use it to practice spinal procedures, hip replacements, and new procedures. But fundamental says simulations for laparoscopic surgery and general surgery are also coming. Among a few others. [SOUND] [SOUND] That could be the first engine to carry humans to Mars. Incase you missed it over the weekend Elon Musk tweeted videos of Space X testing its new Raptor Rocket engine. It's designed to power the starship that Space X is working on to take people to Mars. Space X says Starship will launch from a rocket it calls super heavy which will be powered by 31 Raptor engines It's no word on when starship may actually launch but SpaceX has said it hopes to get to Mars by the mid 2020s. Meanwhile on Mars the NASA insight lander sent back these pictures to remind us it's hard at work, its robotic arm for the protective cover over the size of monitor inside put there in December. This seismometer will give scientists their first look at the deep interior of Mars. Back on earth, expect traffic, and much more of it. Why are my talking of traffic on what the future? Because self driving cars are going to make it much worse That's the prediction of a researcher at UC Santa Cruz. He says as self-driving cars become more common, the actual owners are going to avoid paying parking fees by just sending their cars to cruise around while they're off waiting in line for avocado toast and doing Soul Cycle. Under the simulations we ran, just 2000 self driving cars in downtown San Francisco slowed traffic to less than two miles per hour. Of course, we're still a ways off from it even being legal to send your car off on it's own. [MUSIC] All right. What makes you say, what the future? Let us know in the comments, maybe give us a thumbs up. Thanks so much for watching. I'm Andy Altman. [MUSIC]

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