Robots are now often used in applications such as picking items bought from shipping warehouses … but most of them still cannot see through walls. That said, a new bot can basically do the same, with a bit of outside help.
Known as the RF-Grasp, the experimental device was designed by the MIT group led by Assoc. Professor Fadel Abid.
The robot itself is equipped with an articulated grip arm with an optical camera on the wrist, allowing it to identify target subjects based on their appearance. However, if the object is located in a bin on the far side of the wall – or if it is buried under other objects in that bin – then the robot cannot see it and therefore cannot locate it. its mind.
To solve that problem, a separate RF (radio frequency) transceiver is set up in the area where the robot is operating. The device emits a radio signal, reflected back by an RF tag on a target target – even through walls. As is the case with other existing RFID systems, the label adjusts the return signal in a unique way, transmitting information such as its location and what it is attached to.
Once the transceiver has identified the location of the item in question, it wirelessly transmits that information to the RF-Grasp robot. When it gets to that general position, the robot uses the camera to visually guide its arm, moving the mess to the side until it detects and captures the desired subject.
“It starts out using RF to focus the vision’s attention,” says Adib. “Then you use sight to navigate the good gestures.”
The technology is still in development as shown in the following video.
RF Grasp: Robots find their way through chaos