with an intuitive understanding of physical laws might sound like something out of an Isaac Asimov novel, but scientists at Google’s robotics division say they’ve . In doing so, they contend, they’ve potentially laid the groundwork for future systems capable of learning tosses, slides, spins, swings, catches, and other athletic feats that currently pose a challenge for even the most capable machines.

“Though considerable progress has been made in enabling robots to grasp objects efficiently, visually self adapt or even learn from real-world experiences, robotic operations still require careful consideration in how they pick up, handle, and place various objects — especially in unstructured settings,” wrote Google student researcher Andy Zeng in a blog post. “But instead of just tolerating dynamics, can robots learn

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