Scientists in Europe have put together a "standardised knowledge base for robots," through which robots can exchange information with other robots using cloud computing. Called Rapyuta, the World Wide Web for the electronic persuasion will allow robots "to become more cognitive, and interact with humans in more subtle ‘human' ways."

The breakthrough system will allow robots to become lighter and simpler, lessening the amount of computing power on the robot itself. Robots will be able to query Rayuta for solutions to newly encountered problems:

The theory is that the advancement and learning of one individual robot will benefit all the rest. Faced with a newly laundered towel for the first time, a robot could query the Rapyuta database and instantly know it wasn't a T-shirt and needed folding differently - after first learning how to do the ironing, naturally.

Mohanarajah Gajamohan, technical head of the Roboearth project at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, lauded the varied uses of the new technology, which will improve automation from self-driving cars, to mobile robot helpers, and our most useful robots of all, drones.