Serve food at remote restaurants – right off your couch
David Tejeda helps food and drink delivered to the tables of a small restaurant in Dallas. And another in Sonoma County, California. Sometimes he lends a hand at a restaurant in Los Angeles.
Tejeda does all this from his home in Belmont, California, tracking the movements and signs of the robots that roam around each establishment, bringing dishes from the kitchen to the table and carrying dirty dishes.
Sometimes a lost robot needs to help orient itself. “Sometimes it’s a human mistake, someone is moving a robot or something,” Tejeda says. “If I look through the camera and say, ‘Oh, I see a wall with some paint or landmarks,’ then I can position myself to face that landmark.”
Tejeda is part of a smaller but larger shadow working group. Robots they’re taking on more types of blue collar work forklift driving and carrying freshly picked grapes ra shelves and wait tables. Behind many of these robotic systems are humans who help machines perform difficult tasks or take them when they are confused. These people work from the bedrooms, sofas, and kitchen tables, from the remote workforce that reaches the physical world.
The need for humans to support robots shows limitations Artificial intelligence, and suggests that people can still serve as a decisive gear in future automation.
“The more automation you put into a scenario, the more, at least for now, you need these human beings in it to manage and see and oversee all the exceptions,” he says Matt Beane, An assistant professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, who studies the automation of robotic work.
It has been a feature of human operators some commercial robot systems for more than a decade. A few years ago, as new robots were created in different workplaces, it seemed as if they were human helpers it may be a mere stop, to help, until the IAs have improved the robots themselves enough to do things themselves.
Now, Bean says, it looks like that employee will continue to grow. “They’re cleaning up after the robot,” he says. “These are human glue that allows this system to operate at 99.96 percent reliability, according to reports from some automation VPs somewhere.”
Beane says the smartest companies will use the contributions of human operators to improve AI algorithms most of which control their robots. Whenever a person labels an object — such as a chair — on a picture, they can help train machine learning the algorithm used to navigate the robot.
But training AI in this way is a challenge, and it seems like there will be no shortage of new tasks for people to do. Beane says he has yet to meet with a company that has successfully replaced human operators for training in an AI algorithm.
He works for a company called Tejeda Bear Robotics. Juan Higueros, the company’s founder and chief executive, said the robot’s production is increasing to meet growing demand, and he plans to hire more other robot operators as well.
“I think robotics in highly structured and unstructured environments will become a very important aspect of what companies need to operate,” says Higueros. The company said it has found many employees in the pockets of the U.S., including Texas and Utah.
Remote robot work is a growing category on job lists, especially in robotics startups that want to put systems in new settings that challenge AI. Perception and interpretation in a changing environment remains an unresolved issue in AI and robotics, despite tremendous advances in recent years.
Another sign that the remote robot fight is being discussed is the interest of some startups based on the problem. Jeff Linnell, who previously worked at robotics at Google, went on to found it Formant In 2017, he realized that more remote operations would be needed. “There are all kinds of apps, a robot can do 95% of the mission and a person can take that peace of mind,” he says. “That’s our thesis.”
Formant’s software combines tools to manage robot fleets with others to form teams of remote robot operators. “The only way to get to the economy of scale in the next decade, in my opinion, is to be behind a human being, managing the fleet,” he says.