Some brain projects are smaller and less ambitious. In La Jolla, Calif., a small startup company is building computer software that would allow you to "train" a robot to perform certain tasks. This artificial brain more closely resembles the cognitive capabilities of a small mammal than a modern human, according to Eugene Izhikevich, a cognitive neuroscientist and the founder and CEO of Brain Corporation.
"If we can build a brain for robots and steal as much as we can from biology," Izhikevich said. "You can train your robot by showing examples of desired behaviors." The Brain Corporation has already gotten a small dog-like robot to obey simple hand gestures (see the video here).
Izhikevich says he's providing the software to trainers so that others can make their robots do similar sorts of tasks. He foresees these simple robots taking over mundane chores like emptying the dishwasher, folding clothes, or picking strawberries, rather than replacing humans at the workplace."It's like training a dog," he said. "It requires certain skill, but you don't need a PhD in robotics. You can spend a day, a week or a month."