Robots are only as good as their programming. They can’t do more than what they are programmed to do. Unless you are talking AI. Georgia Tech wants to take AI to the next level and build a robot that can interact with the environment on the fly. That’s a pretty amazing goal. They have their sights set on disaster situations to start with.
The idea is that the robots will have the ability to find objects in their environment to use as tools. For instance, placing a chair to reach something high, or building bridges from debris that is already there. The idea builds on previous work where robots learned to moved objects out of their way, and developing an algorithm that allows them to identify items, and asses its usefulness as a tool.
If robots can think on the fly and rescue us, that’s great. But it means they can also think on the fly and be rid of us one day. I hope they have some kill switches in easy to reach places.