If someone asks you to imagine a robot, says Daniela Rus, a professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (CSAIL) professor of computer science and artificial intelligence, you will probably think of a man-made bot or some heavy industrial hand mode. "But for me, I would like to see change," she says The Verge .
The final work of her team at MIT is a perfect example. This is a robot-grip designed to take objects, but its appearance is at least unusual. Visually, he has more to do with a rubber tulip or a burst balloon than with a sci-fi hand.
This is the unique type that makes the flu so potentially useful. Below her rubber skin is an origami skeleton shaped like a star. As the gas is pumped into the containment housing, the whole device opens and closes like a flower. The device is able to collect delicate items without damaging them while still maintaining strong enough grip to lift 1
The soft interceptors of robots like this are not new. Over the past decade there has been a boom in the field, with engineers looking to take advantage of soft machines. A natural use is logistics: picking products in warehouses and factories. Although much of this work is automated, people are still widely used by companies like Amazon to process individual items, packing them in bags and cans.
This is due to the fact that traditional robot interceptions made of metal and rigid plastic are fighting delicate objects and irregular shapes. The old cliché of an unmanaged robot killer who chanted "crush, destroy" is not too far here. Your ordinary robot in a factory today can not unpack your shopping without turning eggs into omelettes and oranges in orange juice.
Soft gripping robots look like the best solution to this problem and the last few years have seen an explosion of such technology. Laboratories like CSAIL, as well as commercial companies such as RightHand Robotics, have joined in with everything from robust inflatable hands to octopus-like gripping devices.
Rus says that her new grip is a better solution than any previous design. The shape of a tulip means that it can approach objects of real angles, as opposed to a gripper that is shaped like a hand that usually has to come from some object away. Because of its origami skeleton, which Rousse and her team debuted in 2017, he has strength and flexibility.