A group of scientists in Europe are looking to create a shared space for robots to swap what they've learned with one another, as well as help each other figure out new problems. It's called RoboEarth, and the folks behind it are saying it's essentially a Wikipedia that's just for robots — effectively a shared consciousness.
The project is still in its early stages, and the problems it's trying to address is pretty huge: not all robots are made the same, and not all of them perform the same task. The hope is that when they do have overlapping functions, the robots can pull from RoboEarth rather than programmers having to toil over ground that's already been tread.
"Most current robots see the world their own way and there's very little standardisation going on," said one Dr. Markus Waibel from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. "The key [with RoboEarth] is allowing robots to share knowledge. That's really new."
It's similar to the Robot Operating System that the robo-builders over at Willow Garage have been working on. Both are time savers for programmers, and could lead to more standardized robots — which in turn could lead to faster, farther-reaching innovation in robotics.