Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Robotic touch

Computer vision has a long history, especially in CSE at MSU, and it is quite sophisticated, but touch will be needed to advance robotics (nice overview here:  As an example, check out this article ( on the recent Amazon picking challenge where a robot does the current human task of putting items on shelves or selecting from shelves to place in a bin (box).  The winner from Delft does a good job, but is quite slow.  A common way to pick an object is to use suction, but that doesn't work on everything so the Delft robot has a second grasping "hand."  Amazon currently uses a lot of automation (check out the clever Kiva warehouse robots:, but they still need humans for picking.  Our robotic overloads can't replace that human task. Yet.

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