A Robot Arm Can Move And Detect Objects By Touch (+VIDEO)
The Georgia Tech group has recently presented a robot arm that moves and finds objects by touch. According to the designers it can reach into a cluttered environment and use “touch,” along with computer vision, to do various tasks. The team believes such robots will move freely in human environments and the technology might be employed in hospital or rehabilitation settings for patient care (e.g. to help in patient and elder care or rescue missions during emergencies). The robot arm can reach and then use software to control its sense of touch, making it possible to find specific objects in a collection or area. The arm seems to mimic human behavior, thus the robot was able to bend, compress and slide objects. The robot also has an artificial “skin” that can sense pressure or touch. The robot’s arms were designed by Meka Robotics; the software is based on the Willow Garage Robot Operating System (ROS), which is meant to be shared freely. Hoping that other robot makers will improve and advance the robot, the team have made their software open source as well, and shared instructions to make and adapt low-cost robot skin,. You can watch a robot arm wiping the mouth of a disabled man and adjusting a blanket in a video below.