PR2 Robot Learns to Read Using Kinect

The Willow Garage’s PR2 robot has been experimented with by “techi’s” and the bot reportedly keeps acquiring new skills like housework and even handling beer bottles.

CNET report that now engineers at the University of Pennsylvania gave PR2 some literacy skills using Kinect to recognize printed text on paper and signs as well as handwriting on white-board.

Menglong Zhu and colleagues at the university’s GRASP robotics lab experimented with a Kinect-equipped PR2 dubbed “Graspy”, which allows the robot to locate text and recognize the text using Tesseract OCR software.

While the robot’s reading isn’t completely perfect, it can even handle various fonts, text colour and read the words aloud… seriously!

The group has also posted the literacy code to Willow Garage’s open-source Robot Operating System (ROS) library allowing all other PR2s to potentially read as well.

Read more on CNET.