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Is there a taxonomy of errors that are common in robotics? Things that come to mind but I don't have names for are:

  • Getting stuck in a stable infinite loop
  • Going into an unstable feedback loop (A balancing robot overcompensating more with each correction)
  • An inability to generalize between tasks (Pick up a bowl vs pick up a glass)
  • An inability to generalize between 'similar' sensory inputs.
  • Causing damage to itself or its environment.

These would be things that make a robot look 'stupid' to a non-roboticist. If you're curious I want to have this list so I can then prepare a clear answer ready for people who don't know why these various things are hard.

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closed as not constructive by ronalchn, Shog9 Nov 12 '12 at 3:21

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

IIRC, such make-a-list questions are considered rather broad and are generally closed as such (especially a list which seems endless on a precursory glance). If you want to ask about a specific mistake, that's fine, though :). – Manishearth Nov 10 '12 at 14:33
Indeed, list questions are discouraged on all SE sites, as they are seldom constructive and don't really fit the Q&A format that SE is trying to promote. – ThomasH Nov 10 '12 at 14:52
I get the feeling you're kinda dancing around the actual question you want to ask. Regardless, this doesn't seem like something that can be well-answered at present. – Shog9 Nov 12 '12 at 3:22

To a roboticist it might look like a stupid question, however, I think your question is valid, and even important!

Setting expectations is very important when introducing robots to the general public, this will help bridging between Hollywood-robots and real-life robots.

I think the most important difference is understanding the context. Robots (or computer) are very good with computing an answer to a mathematical question, however they are clueless about the context of the question.

for example - ask a humanoid robot to reach his right hand to touch his left ear. In most of the cases I saw - the robot tried to get to the left ear through the head... the context has to be hard coded into everything...

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This is not a clear question, is more of a fishing / discussion question. As much as I'd love to sit down and discuss this for a few hours, this is unfortunately not the type of things we can concisely and objectively answer. Expectations are better diffused by specific questions. Example: "Bipedal robots: Can they walk over a pile of skulls like in Terminator 2?"

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