Robots are pretty useful to have around, but they can prove to be rather tricky to program in order to handle everyday tasks, going to show how complex and wonderfully created our brains are. Mobile robots do prove their worth in homes if they could be able to locate people, places and objects in an accurate manner, and instead of relying on a slew of cameras and laser technology, how about using a different method – through RFID tags?

This is what this specially equipped PR2 robot is capable of, as it has successfully navigated to a medication bottle thanks to the use of tiny radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags which have been tuned to extremely high frequencies. Not only are these tags cheap, they are also self-adhesive, which allows you to stick it onto various objects so that an RFID-equipped robot will be able to ransack, nay, search a room for the right tag’s signal.

However, RFID will not inform the robot of its exact location, and this is where the robot will need to load up on its smarts. The University of Washington’s Matt Reynolds, an associate professor of electrical engineering and of computer science and engineering, has worked alongside Kemp and former Georgia Tech student Travis Deyle to roll out a new search algorithm which will improve a robot’s ability so that it can hunt down and navigate to tagged objects.

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