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Dawn Of The Robots IELTS Reading Answers

Updated on 06 January, 2023
Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

The world’s leading English proficiency test, IELTS Exam, is conducted as a 60-minute assessment of students’ comprehension and vocabulary skills. Students who wish to ace this test and secure admissions in universities abroad need to familiarize themselves with the test format, questions, and their own strengths and weaknesses. The IELTS is challenging only for unprepared students. This Dawn of the Robots IELTS Reading sample is designed to help students gauge language proficiency and monitor progress for a high score. 

“Taking a closer look at the emerging, cutting-edge technology of robotics.”

A Land Rover and a Chevrolet Tahoe estate car had just narrowly escaped a fatal collision. On the surface, the accident looked typical – cracks on the fender, paint scraped off in certain places and other bruises that tens of thousands of vehicles suffer daily. The Land Rover had made an ambitious move, trying to zip past the Chevrolet Tahoe just when the latter started again. As much as the accident seemed run-of-the-mill, the aftermath was equally out of the ordinary. Usually, drivers would get out of their vehicles, conduct a thorough inspection, share insurance details, and leave. In this case (the Urban Challenge of US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency or DARPA), the two vehicles were driven by computers or robots. 

It's mind-boggling to think that machines could perform to such high levels. Driving is a complex task that takes a long time for humans to master. Nonetheless, each car had its onboard computer loaded with a digital map and route plans and was instructed to navigate busy roads, distinguish between pedestrians and stationary objects, determine whether other vehicles were parked or moving off, and handle various parking maneuvers, all of which robots proved to be surprisingly adept at. The fact that the only scrape in the entire tournament was between the robot Land Rover developed by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Tahoe outfitted by Cornell University Artificial Intelligence (AI) experts was even more striking. However, only three years ago, at DARPA's previous driverless car competition, every robot contender - assigned to traverse over a length of the open desert - crashed or seized up before reaching the finish line.

It is a stunning transition with obvious implications for the future of automobiles. Bill Gates, the CEO of Microsoft and an ardent supporter of robots and AI, has emphasized the significance of the advancements in robotics and AI over the previous several years. He argues that the robotics sector was evolving similarly to the computer industry 30 years ago. He points out that electronic corporations produce increasingly sophisticated gadgets that imitate pets and youngsters. Gates states, "I can envision a future in which robotic technologies would become practically ubiquitous in our daily lives." We may be on the cusp of a new era in which the PC will leave the desktop and enable us to see, hear, touch, and operate objects in locations where we are not physically present.

What is the near-future potential for robots and computers? We have a long way to go before real robots catch up to their science fiction counterparts which is a fact, said Gates. Then, what are the stumbling blocks? One crucial challenge is teaching robots their proper location. This has nothing to do with etiquette or class, but it is only a matter of location. Humans orient themselves with ease in relation to other objects in a room. Robots find the task to be nearly impossible. “Even something as simple as distinguishing between an open door and a window might be difficult for a robot”, according to Gates. This relegated robots to very immobile and cumbersome roles until recently.

Researchers tried to get around the problem long ago by mimicking the visual processing in the human cortex. However, this problem has proven to be extremely difficult and complex. "We have gotten substantially more pragmatic in our work," says Nello Cristianini, professor of artificial intelligence at the University of Bristol in England and associate editor of the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research. "We're not trying to duplicate human functions anymore." Instead, we're searching for more straightforward options, such as using basic electronic sensors.' Vacuuming robots like the Electrolux Trilobite are good examples of this strategy. The Trilobite scuttles around houses, producing ultrasonic signals that produce room maps that are saved for future cleaning. This form of technology, according to philosopher Ron Chrisley, chairman of the Centre for Research in Cognitive Science at the University of Sussex in England, is currently changing the face of robots.

Last year, Robot Kitchen, a new Hong Kong eatery, opened with two sensor-laden humanoid machines directing clients to their seats. Each one has a touchscreen where orders may be entered. After that, the robot returns with the proper dishes. Researchers from the University of Tokyo recently demonstrated a kitchen 'android' that could do things like wash dishes, make tea, and cook a few simple meals. The ultimate goal is to give robot house aides to the sick and elderly, which is a major problem in Japan, where 22% of the population is 65 or older. Over a billion dollars is spent each year on research into robots that can care for the elderly. 'Robots must first learn basic skills, such as maneuvering around a house without colliding with objects. Then we can consider teaching them how to communicate with humans,' Chrisley explained. These machines lead academics to socialized robotics, which focuses on how to make robots behave in a way that does not terrify or offend people. 'We need to figure out how robots should interact with people and how they should look.' Chrisley says, "That is likely to be a significant topic for future research.”

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Questions 1-6 

The text in the following passage has six paragraphs, A-F. Choose the correct heading for each paragraph from the list of headings (i-ix) below. 

List of Headings 

  1. Tackling the issue using a different approach 
  2. A significant improvement from last time 
  3. How robots can save human lives 
  4. Examples of robots at work 
  5. Not what it seemed to be 
  6. Why are timescales impossible to predict 
  7. The reason why robots rarely move 
  8. Following the pattern of an earlier development 
  9. The ethical issues of robotics 

1. Answer - Paragraph A – Not what it seemed to be 

Explanation: In the first paragraph of the Dawn of the Robots IELTS reading answers, the writer talks about a suburban car crash. The writer further reveals that this was not your average road accident. Usually, drivers would get out, disclose insurance-related information, gesticulate, and leave. But this case was different as no one stepped out of the vehicles. The writer tells the reason to be nobody being inside either of the vehicles. The term "not on this occasion" implies that the scenario was not what it seemed. 

2. Answer – Paragraph B – A significant improvement from last time 

Explanation: In Paragraph B, the answer lies in carefully reading the first and the last lines. The writer begins the paragraph by stating that the fact machines could perform such standards is marvelous. However, towards the end, they mentioned three years ago, robots could not perform well at the DARPA car race that involved driverless cars. They either got seized or crashed when left to figure their way out of an open desert. The same was not true three years later (the present time, which the first few lines are talking about). This suggests a significant improvement from the last or previous time. 

3. Answer – Following the pattern of an earlier development 

Explanation: Paragraph C of the Dawn of the Robots Reading Answers offers insight into the thoughts of Microsoft founder Bill Gates. He is sold out on the wonders hidden in the world of robotics. The writer mentions how Bill Gates compared the advancement of the robotics industrial sector to that of the software business sector 30 years back. The words "in the same way" indicate a pattern that follows an earlier development. 

4. Answer – Paragraph D - The reason why robots rarely move 

Explanation: Paragraph D of Dawn of the Robots IELTS reading answers talks mainly about robot movements or motion. In the last few lines, the writer says that while humans can easily orient themselves to their surroundings, a robot fails to do so. Even distinguishing between an open window and a door is beyond the abilities of a robot. This is why robots' use has been limited to cumbersome, static roles. The mention of static, cumbersome roles due to robots' limitations explains why robots rarely move. 

5. Answer – Paragraph E - Tackling the issue using a different approach 

Explanation: In Paragraph E, the writer talks about how researchers, through the ages, have strived to recreate the phenomenon of visual processing happening within the human cortex. But, the process has been challenging, complex, and full of twists and turns. Finally, scientists resorted to more straightforward alternatives. This term indicates that the issue was tackled using a different approach. 

6. Answer – Paragraph F – Examples of robots at work 

Explanation: The Dawn of the Robots Reading Answers paragraph F starts with the writer giving an example of robots at work. They talk about a kitchen in Hong Kong entirely run by robots. With the help of sensors, humanoid machines take customer orders and direct them to their respective tables. Each robot carries a touchscreen to easily enter in customer orders. Once the meal is ready, the robot delivers it to the right table. The paragraph consists of another example – the University of Tokyo, which employs kitchen androids that can pour tea, wash dishes, and even cook select meals. 

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Questions 7-10 

Look at the following statements (Questions 7-10) and the list of people below. 

Match each statement with the correct person A, B, or C. 

NB, you may use any letter more than once. 

A – Bill Gates 

B – Nello Christianini 

C – Ron Chrisley 

7. An important concern for scientists is to ensure that robots do not seem frightening. 

Answer – Ron Chrisley 

Explanation: The clue for this answer is found in Paragraph F. Towards the end, the writer quotes Chrisley’s statements wherein he emphasizes the importance of the field of socialized robotics. Chrisley further states that one key area of future research is to discover ways to make robots less scary or offensive to individuals. 

8. We have stopped trying to enable robots to perceive objects as humans do. 

Answer – Nello Christianini 

Explanation: As per Paragraph E of the Dawn of the Robots Reading Answers, the writer quotes Professor Nello Cristianini of the University of Bristol, England. The professor says that no attempts are currently underway to re-create human functions. Instead, the focus is on using basic electronic sensors or something similar to develop more straightforward solutions. His statement indicates that researchers have stopped trying to enable robots to perceive objects the way humans do. In lieu, they are looking for simpler alternatives. 

9. It will take a considerable time for modern robots to match the ones we have created in films and books. 

Answer – Bill Gates 

Explanation: According to Paragraph D of the Dawn of the Robots IELTS Reading Answers, the writer first asks a question as to what the future of robotics holds. The answer is given by the Microsoft owner, Bill Gates. Gates says there is still a long way to traverse before real-life robots can perform tasks that their science-fiction counterparts can. This statement is indicative that considerable time is needed before modern robots can keep abreast with those created in films and books. 

10. We need to enable robots to move freely before we think about trying to communicate with them. 

Answer – Ron Chrisley 

Explanation: The answer may be found in Paragraph F. The writer again quotes Ron Chrisley as he explains that robots are first taught basic competencies, such as navigating their way properly without bumping into objects along the way. After that, only one can think about teaching them to interact with humans. In turn, Chrisley said that before humans can think of communicating with robots, the latter must be enabled to move freely. 

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Questions 11-13 

Complete the notes below. Write NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage. 

Robot features 

DARPA race cars (11)____________ provides maps and plans for a route Electrolux trilobite: build an image of a room by sending out (12) _____________ Robot kitchen humanoids: have a (13) ______________ to take orders. 

Answer for Question 11 – On-board computer 

Explanation: This answer may be found in Paragraph A of the Dawn of the Robots IELTS Reading Answers, which talks about the DARPA car race. While talking about how startling the feat that robots can achieve is, the writer mentions that driving is a complex task, and each car in the race was equipped with an onboard computer that provided route plans and digital maps to navigate through busy roads. 

Answer for Question 12 – Ultrasound signals 

Explanation: Paragraph E of the Dawn of the Robots Reading Answers references Electrolux Trilobite. The writer says that the Electrolux Trilobite moves about the room, emitting ultrasound signals that help create room maps. These maps are stored in the robot's memory and used as a reference for future cleaning. So, the images are made by sending out ultrasound signals. 

Answer for Question 13 – Touchscreen 

Explanation: The answer to this question is found in Paragraph F of the Reading Passage. This paragraph talks about kitchen humanoids of the Robot Kitchen, Hong Kong. First, the writer mentions that the robots are capable of directing customers to their tables via sensors. Then, they mention that each robot possesses a touchscreen for registering orders. Once done, they deliver the meals to the respective tables. 

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