Learning how to perceive shapes and act on them is what allows us to interact with our world. Whether it’s grasping for an object, drawing or dancing.
With this in mind, Mohan et al. have been teaching the iCub, a child-sized humanoid, to draw shapes. Starting from simple shapes like ‘I’ and ‘U’ the robot goes on to writing its full name and finally drawing a portrait of Gandhi.
To do this, the iCub observes a human teacher drawing the shape before trying to reproduce it. The task requires a host of skills such as vision processing, imitating the teacher’s motions, practicing the drawings, exploring new actions, trajectory formation and inverse kinematics, and finally generalizing lessons learned to new tasks.
For a complete explanation of how the system works, have a look at the excellent presentation below narrated by the author of the paper.