The WWW, called RoboEarth, will be tested in a hospital setting at Eindhoven University in Netherlands. The eventual aim is that both robots and humans will be able to upload information to the cloud-based database, which would act as a kind of common brain for machines.
    
RoboEarth's database stores knowledge generated by humans - and robots - in a machine-readable format. It will provide software components, maps for navigation, task knowledge and object recognition models.
    
The system has been developed by research scientists from Philips and five European universities including Eindhoven.

"At its core RoboEarth is a world wide web for robots: a giant network and database repository where robots can share information and learn from each other about their behaviour and their environment," said Rene van de Molengraft, the RoboEarth project leader.
    
Four robots will use the system to complete a series of tasks, including serving drinks to patients in the mocked-up hospital room.
    
The four robots selected to test the system in a public demonstration will "work collaboratively" to help patients, he told a news channel.

One robot will upload a map of the room so that others can find their way around it; others will attempt to serve drinks to patients.
    
The goal of RoboEarth is to allow robotic systems to benefit from the experience of other robots, paving the way for rapid advances in machine cognition and behaviour, and ultimately, for more subtle and sophisticated human-machine interaction, RoboEarth said on its website.

"The problem right now is that robots are often developed specifically for one task. Everyday changes that happen all the time in our environment make all the programmed actions unusable," van de Molengraft said.
    
"A task like opening a box of pills can be shared on RoboEarth, so other robots can also do it without having to be programmed for that specific type of box," he added.

(Agencies)