Robots and AI should not surprise anyone anymore. The level at which artificial intelligence is is very scary, with apps such as ChatGpt understanding natural human language and Dall-E becoming an expert artist. However, these are just mere software; recently, scientists have created an AI-powered robotic arm that can take hold of various consumer items.
The scientists at the Singapore University of Technology claim that they have deployed reconfigurable workspace soft that can reliably pick up and safely handle any item with the accuracy of surgical robots.
According to scientists, the robot can pick up anything from one grain of rice to a water bottle. In addition, scientists claim that big food companies could modify the robot to create various automation for their factories. This ability stems from the highly adaptive capabilities of their robotic AI to suit a myriad of industries.
RWS Gripper, How it Works
The robotic arm, also known as the (reconfigurable workspace soft) RWS robot gripper, is a versatile machine that can scoop items with a radius below two millimeters and a thickness of fewer than 310 microns, such as papers and documents.
In addition, the researchers brag that their robot can grab dome-shaped and planar items, including squishable foodstuff such as watermelons, with extreme precision. According to the researchers, traditional rigid grippers use hard, inflexible materials and actuators to grip a specific object or shape.
In contrast, soft grippers use compliant, flexible materials and actuators that can adapt to a wide range of object geometries. This adaptability allows them to safely and reliably grasp a wider range of objects, including irregular or complex shapes.
Soft grippers also have a high degree of freedom and compliance, which means they can move and adjust in many different ways. This high degree of freedom allows them to use a variety of grasp modes, even with under-actuation and simplified control strategies.
Scientists from the University of Singapore say that soft grippers are more adaptive than rigid grippers, and the use of Artificial Intelligence makes them adapt to different object geometries.
The RWS gripper is designed with a technology called Adaptive actuation. This actuation means that the grasping workspace of the soft gripper can be quickly and easily changed to accommodate different items it is picking up with different contact area requirements.
This ability allows the robot to adapt to various object geometries, shapes, and sizes and handle them with different grasping methods. In other words, using different grasping methods, the RWS gripper can be adjusted to easily handle smaller, more delicate items and larger, irregularly shaped items.
In addition, the use of multimodal actuation makes the RWS gripper a highly adaptive and versatile technology for automation in various industries.
Potential of the RWS Gripper
According to Pablo Valdivia y Alvarado, a professor on the project, the scientists are working hard to commercialize the robotic arm to help industries in the field. They hope the technology will bring disruptive automation to the food and packing industry and other industries requiring automation.
However, according to the team’s statement, the technology still needs to reach the ideal RWS software, and more work is needed, especially in the AI aspect of the application. As a result, the scientists note that this robot arm in the showcase is only the first step in a million-mile journey.