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 enjoys writing on various topics 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
JUL 31, 2018
Cell & Molecular Biology
JUL 31, 2018
A Brand New Geometric Shape
Cell use this shape when packing together to form structures....
AUG 11, 2018
Technology
AUG 11, 2018
A Video Game That Teaches Empathy
Can a video game build positive growth for children? According to a study published in the Science of Learning (a Nature journal), a video game exploring a...
AUG 23, 2018
Health & Medicine
AUG 23, 2018
Can AI Detect Eye Disease as Accurately as a Doctor?
Artificial intelligence, aka AI, is fast becoming a significant part of medical science. Technology that uses AI is being researched for cancer, Alzheimer&...
AUG 30, 2018
Cell & Molecular Biology
AUG 30, 2018
Simultaneously Assaying Gene Expression and Chromatin Availability
Traditional tools often focus on one aspect of a cell, but a new technique can assay the expression of 1000s of genes in 1000s of cells at once....
SEP 23, 2018
Cardiology
SEP 23, 2018
Take Control of Your Heart Data With Apple's New Watch
      Consumer grade activity trackers have been steadily increasing in popularity in recent years. Although these wearables initially were...
OCT 14, 2018
Technology
OCT 14, 2018
AI Tool Aims To Help Apps Drain Less Battery
Not all apps are created equal. There are many apps devoted to one purpose, such as sending a text message or editing a video but have varied in battery us...
Loading Comments...