Can ChatGPT be used in robots?

Explore different exciting applications of the language model in robotics.

June 30, 2023


Aleksandra Szczepaniak

Loona the petbot
Loona the petbot

It seems like ChatGPT is the new black these days, as it’s already being used by plenty of people and made a lot of tasks much easier for them, causing quite a buzz. But as all language models, it’s still in its infancy so we have yet to see its true potential and capabilities. Meanwhile, AI-powered robots are getting more and more prevalent. That said, let’s see how ChatGPT is doing now in the realm of robotics.

Ameca – the humanoid robot

Ameca the humanoid robot
The Ameca robot

When used in robotics, ChatGPT is mostly implemented in robots designed for human-robot interaction, particularly humanoid robots. An example of one of such technological innovations is Ameca.

Ameca is an advanced humanoid robot designed by Engineered Arts as a platform for the development of future robotics technologies within human-robot interaction.

The Ameca robot is powered by generative AI thanks to which she can engage in conversations with people. The users can ask the robot questions, and the android will answer based on the ChatGPT generated responses. She understands and communicates in a lot of languages, such as French, German, Japanese, and Chinese. 

What sets Ameca apart from other robots is her lifelike features – realistic face, facial expression, as well as body language. With the use of cameras, Ameca can detect people, trace their faces, and also detect other objects and follow them around. She can even maintain eye contact with a person (creepy much? ;)). All this to reflect human communication, making conversation both captivating and natural.

This technological achievement was developed to help humans in various fields. Thus, Ameca can be used in a range of facilities that require some form of interaction with people, be that a companion in nursing homes or a guide in amusement parks.

Interestingly, we had the pleasure to meet Ameca during ICRA 2023 in London. And what a remarkable and uncanny experience that was!

Loona the Petbot

Humanoid robots aren’t the only ones that provide users with a thrilling human-robot interaction experience. There are many various machines that do just that. One of them is Loona.

Loona is a robot pet introduced by KEYi Technology in 2023 at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

Loona uses listening, vision, and haptic perception to interact with her surroundings, making her highly responsive to the world around her. With advanced 3D-intelligent trajectory planning, Loona effortlessly navigates through your home, moving around with ease. And by using an RGB camera, the petbot is able to capture and track moving objects, thanks to which she can play fetch.

Loona brings the charm of a real pet behavior to life with impressive motion capabilities. This petbot can be a fantastic companion that eagerly welcomes you home. She enjoys tagging along on walks and gets excited when you pet her.

Designed to be kid-friendly and inviting, Loona offers a whole gamut of games and entertaining features. She understands many commands and provides diverse and interesting responses. You can engage in a range of interactive activities with this robot through ChatGPT games, including RPG games, role-playing scenarios, language learning, and more.

And hey, when you're away, you can even keep tabs on your home using Loona's camera. Not only that, if you already have a furry friend, this robot is more than happy to keep it company. With Loona, you can stay connected to your pet from afar and communicate remotely.

Theopolis by Formant

Theopolis is a GPT-powered feature developed by Formant to engage with robot data through chat prompts. The tool offers you the power to manage your robotic fleets at scale efficiently with standardized workflows, as well as allows you to ask your robot data exploratory questions and get immediate insights through new exploratory workflows.

The platform's goal is to unlock the shared potential between humans and robots by implementing more streamlined and flexible workflows. By leveraging the creativity of GPT-4 to process data sets, rather than relying solely on human input, Theopolis significantly reduces the time robotics companies spend configuring operator dashboards, while simultaneously boosting the value of their data.

With AI's capabilities to assess data, it becomes easier to recognize causes behind issues, performance gaps, and opportunities for optimization.

Using a language model in tools such as Theopolis can really level up customer service and help create a positive user experience.

ChatGPT-designed tomato picker

ChatGPT-designed tomato picker
Credit: © CREATE Lab/EPFL

Here’s another interesting application of ChatGPT in robotics – researchers from Delft University of Technology and Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) “teamed up” with ChatGPT to develop a tomato-picking robot using a Panther by Husarion as a robot base.

What did the whole process look like? 

By discussing future hurdles to humanity with the language model, the researchers identified robotic crop harvesting as a solution to global food supply concerns. And with ChatGPT’s vast access to global data, they gained insights on the crucial features needed for an effective robot harvester.

Once they established a basic robotic framework, the researchers delved deeper into the design process. They prompted the language model to provide technical recommendations, such as suitable materials and computer code for controlling the device.

Ultimately, with the food supply as their challenge, the researchers brainstormed with ChatGPT and came up with the idea of developing a tomato picker following the language model’s design suggestions in the process.

Side note: Although ChatGPT can be an invaluable help in designing a robot like that, it should be kept in mind that it’s not infallible; thus, we shouldn't blindly follow its suggestions but rather treat them as an inspiration and tips.

Relying solely on unverified and unvalidated LLM’s outputs can be misleading, as AI bots provide most probable answer to a question, and because of that, there’s a risk of bias and misinformation in the field of robotics, not to mention other issues such as plagiarism, among others.

Empower the future of automation

With its integration into robotics, ChatGPT has emerged as a game-changer. From enhancing human-robot interactions to streamlining workflows, its potential to shape the future of automation is simply awe-inspiring. 

But as great as language models are, let's be real for a moment: like any evolving technology, ChatGPT is a work in progress. To ensure reliable results, it's crucial to strike a balance by infusing its outputs with human expertise.

And speaking of shaping the future of automation – we've got another exciting article lined up just for you. Dive into the realm of Robot as a Service and discover how it can fuel your journey toward innovation.

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