RoboHow, which is an EU-funded programme and is backed by nine European universities is working on the equivalent of a Wikipedia for robots that takes how-to guides, recipes and other instructions, and breaks them down into very simple steps robots can understand.

Headed by Germany’s Universität Bremen (UNIHB), the project is focused on researching and developing robots capable of autonomous mobile manipulation.

The team has spent the last three years researching different ways to break down simple cooking instructions so they can be explained to robots, such as how to pour pancake batter into a frying pan, handle a spatula, tilt the spatula to shovel a pancake on to it and flip it.

“Common sense knowledge like moving the spatula to place the pancake on the plate – it’s an implicit knowledge humans have, but it’s extremely hard to make that explicit for a robot,” Professor Michael Beetz from UNIHB’s Dept of Computer Science and head of RoboHow told IBTimes UK.

They are using the approach of teaching robots kinesthetic, where you physically take the robot by the hand, put a spatula in its hand, close its hand and perform the action you want it to learn, more like teaching a child, so the robot remembers the exact motions.

The team has come up with a perception system that is able to fill in the gaps in a robot’s knowledge, so it understand the properties of glass and realizes there are bottles on the table.

RoboHow researchers presented their system at the 14th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS) in April,, and recommended it be used in conjunction with OpenEase, the free open online database they had built.

OpenEase, which  functions as a database that anyone, including interested internet users, won an award at AAMAS.

Via BI