Specialists from the National Institute of Astrophysics, Optics, and Electronics (INAOE) in Mexico have developed a robot that can learn skills by imitating human actions and by obtaining data over the internet.

The scientists involved in the project, still in its initial stages, say their ultimate aim is to develop a robot that any family can own and make use of.

“If a family member needs to order a specific object, like medicine, the robot can order it and will also be able to deliver it to them, eventually. Thus life will be easier for all,” says Eduardo Morales, the researcher in charge of the project.

The robot searches the web for new skills and information, building a database of images that enable it to quickly recognize objects and distinguish them from others, making it useful for repetitive jobs and actions.

Once it learns something by repeating it, artificial intelligence allows the robot to save that action to reproduce it exactly when it needs to be reordered. To allow this, the researchers are developing a new algorithm that takes into account the most likely place the object will be, how far it is from the robot, and what size it is.

The news comes months after the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) stated that automation (industrial automation in particular) will create more new jobs in Mexico rather than increase unemployment.

Next year, Mexico will also send robots to the moon to study its surface.