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We hear every week about new innovations in robotics technology that make some people excited while making others fearful of a world not unlike the Skynet-controlled Terminator universe. That’s why it’s interesting to see news about robots doing the most mundane of tasks such as playing Jenga.
It isn’t newsworthy that a robot can play this game of precision and skilled decision-making. It’s newsworthy that this is in the news at all. Don’t get me wrong. It’s pretty cool. But it seems like a step back from some of the amazing robot technologies we’ve seen in recent years.
On the contrary, this isn’t a step back. It’s a step forward because of the way this robot operates. It makes decision based on complex scans and algorithmic decisions that allow it to remain precise in a game that requires precision. The implications of such movements and decisions can be eventually applied to the medical field where sensitivity is just as important as pure accuracy.
The notion may make you yawn compared to killer robots with .50-caliber machine guns mounted to their torsos, but don’t underestimate the importance of such tests. The technology required to play Jenga may be used in life-or-death situations in the near future.
We may not ever hear about Jenga-playing robots again, but it’s interesting that we’re hearing about them now from such a prestigious technical university like MIT.
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