When given specific instructions, robots are very useful in industry. But researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) believe, it would make more sense to turn them into full-fledged members of the work team.
The MIT team has created a mechanical manipulator that changes its behavior depending on his human colleague’s actions. The device called RoboRaise is fitted into the Baxter robot.
The manipulator works on the following principle: sensors are attached to a human worker’s hand, which read his muscles’ movements, this information is transmitted to RoboRaise, and the robot imitates all of them.
The system has already been tested during an aircraft assembly: the partners lifted objects together. According to the developers, the accuracy of RoboRaise’s movements was 70%.
The machine not only imitates a person’s movements, but also executes the commands it gets. Everything works without verbal communication: the user only needs to tense certain muscles several times in order to ask the robot to raise something higher or lower,
In the future, there are pans to improve RoboRaise by teaching it to grasp its human teammate condition, taking into account such factors as fatigue.
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