SEP 15, 2018 11:37 PM PDT

The Future House Robot?

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

In a recent publication, researchers from MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), have made a key development in the area of robotics by developing a system that allows robots to randomly inspect objects and visually understand in order to complete specific tasks. The new system is being referred to as "Dense Object Nets" (DON) and looks at objects as a collection of points that serve as "visual roadmaps". The approach will allow robots to better understand and manipulate items.

Image via The Japan Times

"Many approaches to manipulation can't identify specific parts of an object across the many orientations that object may encounter," says PhD student Lucas Manuelli. "For example, existing algorithms would be unable to grasp a mug by its handle, especially if the mug could be in multiple orientations, like upright, or on its side." The research team views potential applications for DON that are not strictly for manufacturing settings but also used at homes.

The DON system produces a series of coordinates on a given object, which creates "visual roadmap" of the objects allowing the robot a better understanding of what it needs to grab. The team trained DON to look at objects as points that compose a larger coordinate system; thus mapping different points together to visualize the object's 3-D shape. This is similar to how panoramic photos are sewn together to create multiple photos. “In factories robots often need complex part feeders to work reliably," says Manuelli. "But a system like this that can understand objects' orientations could just take a picture and be able to grasp and adjust the object accordingly."

Researchers hope in the future to advance the system to be oriented in a place where it can perform certain tasks with a deeper understanding of the corresponding objects.

The study will be represented in the Conference on Robot Learning in Zürich, Switzerland.

Source: MIT Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Lab

About the Author
  • Nouran earned her BS and MS in Biology at IUPUI and currently shares her love of science by teaching. She enjoys writing on various topics as well including science & medicine, global health, and conservation biology. She hopes through her writing she can make science more engaging and communicable to the general public.
You May Also Like
MAR 24, 2020
Technology
MAR 24, 2020
3D Printing Cellulose
Cellulose is a material found in trees and plants that can help build complex structures. The uniqueness of the material ...
APR 13, 2020
Cardiology
APR 13, 2020
Computer Model Predicts How Drugs Affect Heart Rhythm
Cardiotoxicity, heart electrophysiology dysfunction or muscle damage,  is one of the most common reasons why drugs ...
APR 29, 2020
Clinical & Molecular DX
APR 29, 2020
Move and Detect : Diagnosis of Neonatal Sepsis Using Fluorescent Micromotors
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), sepsis occurs when the body’s response to an infection injures i ...
MAY 19, 2020
Genetics & Genomics
MAY 19, 2020
A Faster Way to Identify New Cell Types
It's important to be able to identify the types of cells that are present in a tissue and how they behave in order to ha ...
MAY 10, 2020
Technology
MAY 10, 2020
Robots With Toes?
Biologists have been observing the many toes of geckos and how they adapt mobility to diverse surfaces. "The resear ...
MAY 26, 2020
Technology
MAY 26, 2020
App for COVID-19 Symptom Tracking
A collaboration of scientists has led to a COVID-19 Symptom Tracker app aimed at rapid information collection in respons ...
Loading Comments...