Like the Terminator, ACE Robot can ask humans for directions to its target

The old tourist technique of asking for directions to make friends will soon include robots thanks to a research group at the Institute of Automatic Control Engineering in Germany. The group has created a robot called the Autonomous City Explorer (or ACE Robot), which can use its cognitive abilities to ask humans for directions in real, random situations.

In addition to its software components, the ACE Robot employs human detection with stereo vision, gesture recognition using model-based human body pose estimation and three-dimensional obstacle detection to find its way. It not hard to imagine that once this kind of robot becomes more sophisticated and commercialized, human tour guides may become an endangered species.