In a collaboration between 33 academic labs worldwide, a consortium of researchers has unveiled a revolutionary approach to robotics.
Traditionally, robots have excelled in specific tasks but struggled with versatility, requiring individual training for each unique job. However, this limitation might soon be a thing of the past.
Open X-Embodiment: The gateway to generalist robots
At the heart of this transformation lies the Open X-Embodiment dataset, a monumental effort pooling data from 22 distinct robot types.
With the contributions of over 20 research institutions, this dataset comprises over 500 skills, encompassing a staggering 150,000 tasks across more than a million episodes.
This treasure trove of diverse robotic demonstrations represents a significant leap towards training a universal robotic model capable of multifaceted tasks.
RT-1-X: A general-purpose robotics model
Accompanying this dataset is RT-1-X, a product of meticulous training on RT-1 – a real-world robotic control model – and RT-2, a vision-language-action model. This fusion resulted in RT-1-X, exhibiting exceptional skills transferability across various robot embodiments.
In rigorous testing across five research labs, RT-1-X outperformed its counterparts by an average of 50 percent.
The success of RT-1-X signifies a paradigm shift, demonstrating that training a single model with diverse, cross-embodiment data dramatically enhances its performance on various robots.
Emergent skills: Leaping into the future
The experimentation did not stop there. Researchers explored emergent skills, delving into uncharted territories of robotic capabilities.
RT-2-X, an advanced version of the vision-language-action model, exhibited remarkable spatial understanding and problem-solving abilities. By incorporating data from different robots, RT-2-X demonstrated an expanded repertoire of tasks, showcasing the potential of shared learning in the robotic realm.
A responsible approach
Crucially, this research emphasises a responsible approach to the advancement of robotics.
By openly sharing data and models, the global community can collectively elevate the field—transcending individual limitations and fostering an environment of shared knowledge and progress.
The future of robotics lies in mutual learning, where robots teach each other, and researchers learn from one another. The momentous achievement unveiled this week paves the way for a future where robots seamlessly adapt to diverse tasks, heralding a new era of innovation and efficiency.
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