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STEP-BY-STEP A new robot operating system helps bots understand picture-based instructions (like this robot shown with a diagram for how the red toy boxer can defeat the blue) to perform various tasks. Robots imbued with a certain kind of common sense may soon be able to follow instructional diagrams to build things. When studying pictures for assembling IKEA furniture or LEGO villages, humans are naturally good at inferring how to get from A to B. Robots, on the other hand, normally have to be painstakingly programmed with exact instructions for how to move. “Even when you try to teach robots by demonstration, they’re just repeating the exact same motions you show them, not the conce... Full story

18 January