A robot to teach other robots and then humans is WSU professor's project

PULLMAN, WA - Engineers have been teaching robots how to perform human-like tasks for years, but what if robots could teach other robots?
Or even people?

Reporter Rachel Dubrovin explains why that could soon become a reality thanks to researchers at Washington State University.

Here at Washington State University, students are preparing for robots to take over the world.

"Robots, I feel, are the next big frontier," said WSU Student Lorin Vandegrift.

"With robots, you get to see what you've done actually work in the real world, get it running around and manipulating the world around it," said WSU Assistant Professor of Artificial Intelligence Matthew Taylor.

OK, so maybe robot domination is more of an April Fools joke than a reality. But make no mistake, these engineers take robotics very seriously.

"In this lab, the intelligent robot learning lab, we have air, ground and sea robots," said Taylor.

One of the favorite robots in this lab is this flying A-R drone.

"They're taking all these different fields and incorporating them into one," said Vandegrift. "And so, I mean when you have a bunch of smart people come together, you kind of get really cool things."

WSU Assistant Professor Matthew Taylor focuses on the artificial intelligence side of robotics. His latest project is teaching robots how to teach other robots.

"Once these robots learn something, they have to be able to teach new robots," said Taylor. "So when you upgrade to a new model, you want that robot, the first one, to be able to teach it about you and your preferences."

Taylor said this intelligence will become more important as more robots make their way into households. He's proving they can be teachers using the game of Pac-Man.

"Because we're also interested in not just agents teaching each other, but also can these agents teach humans," said Taylor. "So in Pac-Man, that's going to be, 'Go up, go down, go left go right.'"

Despite how much they've learned about robots, Taylor said it'll be years before robots are actually teaching humans.

"Humans are a little more fickle," said Taylor.

Taylor also received a grant from The National Science Foundation to use dog training techniques to train robotics. He hopes to find a better way for humans to train robots, and visa-versa.