A team of US researchers announced a new technique that helps robots better grasp delicate objects. The new technique developed by researchers at the MIT Institute allows a robot to adjust its grasp on an object by pushing that object against a stationary surface, the German News Agency reported.
Whereas traditional algorithms would require tens of minutes for planning out a sequence of motions, the new team's approach shaves this preplanning process down to less than a second.
The Phys.org website cited Alberto Rodriguez, associate professor of mechanical engineering at MIT, as saying: "the speedier planning process will enable robots, particularly in industrial settings, to quickly figure out the required force to grasp a given object."
Such nimble manipulation is useful for any tasks that involve picking and sorting, and even intricate tool use, he explained.
The new technique relies on the so-called "motion cones", which are essentially visual, cone-shaped maps of friction that help the robot chart the course of motion and the amount of pressure required while holding various objects, while adhering to the various physics standards necessary to complete this process such as pressure, friction rates, and others.
"The inside of the cone depicts all the pushing motions that could be applied to an object, while the space outside of the cone represents all the factors that could lead to slip out of the robot's grasp," said Rodriguez.
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