A great tool for training robots is learning by demonstration (Robot learning by demonstration - Scholarpedia). To drastically oversimplify, basically, the robot observes, mimics, or participates with a teacher performing a task multiple times so it can learn which variables matter and which don’t to achieve task success. The learning by demonstration process provides exemplars to the robot for training, and then the robot can then perform the task on it’s own in novel scenarios.
Keeping the robot safe from harm during demonstrations is critical, especially when the robot is expensive. In the past, tools such as interactive simulations and kinesthetic teaching (https://www.cc.gatech.edu/~ksubrama/files/HRIFinalBK.pdf) have been used during LfD, so the robot remains safe while demonstrations occur.
Virtual reality has recently become popular as an interactive medium through which humans and robots can interact safely. Basically, like an immersive simulation, the demonstrations are provided in a virtual space, and the robot learns from the rich contextual information provided, while it’s physical body remains safe from harm.
If you could interact with your Misty robot through virtual reality, what would you teach it? Which activities would you want to do in VR with your Misty robot? Are there any activities or skills that you think would be easier to teach your Misty robot in a virtual world than they would be to teach in the real world?
Through the use of VR, you wouldn’t have to be co-located with your Misty robot to interact with it. Which types of long-distance interaction with your Misty robot through VR are appealing to you? …games? …chatting via avatars? …storytelling? If your Misty robot wanted to use VR to interact with other Misty robots or humans outside your home, would you allow it?