The robots, James and Rosie, are able to respond to orders like “make me a sandwich” with the use of visual-detection systems from an Xbox Kinect. They also use perception algorithms to assess surroundings, and to make inferences about what they see, in order to execute their tasks. James and Rosie are part of the school’s CRAM project. CRAM stands for Cognitive Robot Abstract Machine. CRAM is a set of software tools to design and deploy robots that use cognition to manipulate items.The robots are kitted out with reasoning mechanisms all along the way that make them capable of decisions, rather than decisions that are pre-programmed.
According to the Munich team, these robots can be more flexible and more reliable than robots using control programs without cognitive strengths. James and Rosie belong to a family of four robot platforms in the laboratory. There are TUM-James (PR2), TUM Rosie, iCub and Bender.