The social network has a plan to merge the worlds of artificial intelligence and real-world machines, so that both may grow more powerful.
In a new lab in its palatial Silicon Valley HQ, a red and black Sawyer robot arm is waving all over the place with a mechanical whine. It’s supposed to casually move its hand to a spot in space to its right up then resets to its starting position. And that could one day lead to intelligent machines like telepresence robots.
At the moment robots are very dumb—generally you have to spell everything out in code for them: This is how you roll forward, this is how you move your arm. Even babies understand that an object that moves out of view hasn’t vanished from the physical universe.