Technology, Artificial Intelligence, RoboticsAugust 24, 2023Researchers develop AI technique for robots to manipulate objects with their whole bodiesResearchers at MIT have developed a new technique that enables robots to reason and manipulate objects using their entire bodies. The technique, called smoothing, simplifies the process of contact-rich manipulation planning by summarizing many potential contact events into a smaller number of decisions. By using this technique, even a simple algorithm can quickly identify an effective manipulation plan for the robot. This could potentially lead to the use of smaller, mobile robots in factories that can manipulate objects with their entire arms or bodies, reducing energy consumption and costs. The method could also be useful for robots on exploration missions, allowing them to adapt quickly to their environment using onboard computers. The researchers combined their model with an efficient search algorithm, reducing computation time significantly. While the current model has limitations in handling dynamic motions, future enhancements are planned to address this. The research is funded by various organizations, including Amazon and the National Science Foundation, highlighting the significance of this work in the field of robotics.
Source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology