The Boilermakers are celebrating their sesquicentennial by tackling humanity's most pressing questions head on.
In science fiction, the presence of machines that can learn and adapt like their human creators generally indicates something bad is going to happen. Think of Skynet from the Terminator films, the Replicants from Blade Runner or HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. In real life, having the capacity to teach robots tasks that go beyond their original programming and configuration would be a welcome development. That capability is still largely in the realm of science fiction, but a team of professors and researchers in Maryland’s Autonomy, Robotics and Cognition Laboratory are working to change that. “There are quite