Carnegie Mellon Algorithm Balances “Pick And Place” With “Push And Shove”
Clutter is a special challenge for robots, but new Carnegie Mellon University software is helping robots cope, whether they’re beating a path across the moon or grabbing a milk jug from the back of the refrigerator.
The software not only helped a robot deal efficiently with clutter, but it also surprisingly revealed the robot’s creativity in solving problems.
“It was exploiting sort of superhuman capabilities,” Siddhartha Srinivasa, associate professor of robotics, said of his lab’s two-armed mobile robot, the Home Exploring Robot Butler, or HERB. “The robot’s wrist has a 270-degree range, which led to behaviors we didn’t expect. Sometimes, we’re blinded by our own anthropomorphism.”
In one case, the robot used the crook of its arm to cradle an object to be moved.
“We never taught it that,” Srinivasa added.
The rearrangement planner software was developed in Srinivasa’s lab by Jennifer King, a Ph.D. student in robotics, and Marco Cognetti, a Ph.D. student at Sapienza University of Rome who spent six months in Srinivasa’s lab. They will present their findings on Thursday, May 19, at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Stockholm, Sweden.
In addition to HERB, the software was tested on NASA’s KRex robot, which is being designed to traverse the lunar surface. While HERB focused on clutter typical of a home, KRex used the software to find traversable paths across an obstacle-filled landscape while pushing an object.
Robots are adept at “pick-and-place” (P&P) processes, picking up an object in a specified place and putting it down at another specified place. Srinivasa said this has great applications in places where clutter isn’t a problem, such as factory production lines. But that’s not what robots encounter when they land on distant planets or when “helpmate” robots eventually land in people’s homes.
P&P simply doesn’t scale up in a world full of clutter. When a person reaches for a milk carton in a refrigerator, he doesn’t necessarily move every other item out of the way. Rather, a person might move an item or two, while shoving others out of the way as the carton is pulled out.
The rearrangement planner automatically finds a balance between the two strategies, Srinivasa said, based on the robot’s progress on its task. The robot is programmed to understand the basic physics of its world, so it has some idea of what can be pushed, lifted or stepped on. And it can be taught to pay attention to items that might be valuable or delicate, in case it must extricate a bull from a china shop.
One limitation of this system is that once the robot has evaluated a situation and developed a plan to move an object, it effectively closes its eyes to execute the plan. Work is underway to provide tactile and other feedback that can alert the robot to changes and miscalculations, and can help it make corrections when necessary.
Learn more: Robots Get Creative To Cut Through Clutter
The Latest on: Robots Get Creative
via Google News
The Latest on: Robots Get Creative
- New York Post Op-Ed Proposes James Woods Should Host Oscars on January 6, 2019 at 9:22 pm
Jon Levine -- the media editor for the entertainment site The Wrap -- has penned an opinion piece for The New York Post that's sure to get him a glare ... How can the creative class convince ... […]
- Rami Malek wins Golden Globe for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody on January 6, 2019 at 8:53 pm
It’s gotta be quite the surprise for Malek, however, as the Mr. Robot star nearly didn’t get the opportunity to ... as Baron Cohen’s creative vision clashed with those of the remaining ... […]
- Robots aren't yet killing off all our jobs, World Bank says on January 5, 2019 at 10:08 pm
“This fear that robots have eliminated jobs — this fear is not supported ... it’s also creating opportunities for different, more productive and more creative jobs. “This is the fourth industrial revo... […]
- One More Weekend To Sculpt Your Circuits! on January 5, 2019 at 8:42 am
Drop what you’re doing and get thee to thy workshop. This is the last weekend of the Hackaday Circuit Sculpture Contest, the perfect chance for you to exercise the creative hacker within by ... […]
- Rami Malek teases Mr Robot season 4 ending ‘left his mouth agape’ as he says goodbye to show on January 5, 2019 at 7:13 am
‘Everyone on the creative team ... four will serve as the final chapter of the Mr. Robot story.’ If you've got a story, video or pictures get in touch with the Metro.co.uk Entertainment ... […]
- Video Friday: H-Muscle Hydraulic Robot Actuator, and More on January 4, 2019 at 9:15 am
Not everyone managed to get their holiday videos posted in time ... in Science Robotics last month that looked at how swarms of robots can self-organize and collaborate to create shapes and ... […]
- Global Used and Refurbished Robots Market 2018 Trend & Regional Revenue by Top Players on January 4, 2019 at 4:33 am
Get PDF sample copy of this report @ https://www.qyresearch.com/sample-form/form/676057/global-used-and-refurbished-robots-industry-research-report ... QYResearch consulting group has accumulated crea... […]
- Creative Leaders on Beginnings: W+K’s Iain Tait on January 3, 2019 at 4:29 am
Creative Review: How did you first get started ... I vividly remember one of his lectures about which Hollywood robots would get along best in the real world. At the end of my degree I had no idea wha... […]
- Best tech toys 2019: Connected toys, robots and more on December 31, 2018 at 3:52 am
It's like a polite, robot version of the drill instructor in Full Metal Jacket. The LeapStart Learning System (£42.97) now supports nursery to year one kids, enabling them to get to grips with reading ... […]
- Honda unveils autonomous construction robot, wants your input on what to do with it on December 26, 2018 at 1:33 pm
The Honda Autonomous Work Vehicle will debut at next month’s Consumer Electronics Show 2019, but it’s less of a consumer product than it is an invitation for other manufacturers to get creative ... In ... […]
via Bing News