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A robot as delicate as human beings

The robot has been given arms with delicacy needed to pick an egg without breaking it

Policy Pulse
Publish Date: May 13 2016 1:31PM | Updated Date: May 13 2016 1:31PM

A robot as delicate as human beings
Demo Image
Having a robot friend is almost everybody’s dream. Robots can help us in various things like household chores and even babysitting. But we want to befriend a robot without hurting ourselves but this is next to impossible because of their rigid and tough structures. 
But an America based team of researchers has discovered a solution for that problem also. They have developed a new technology that can safely and precisely drive robot arms, giving them the delicacy necessary to pick up an egg without breaking it.
The team of researchers has the new transmission to build a simple humanoid robot with two arms, with stereo cameras mounted in the head, streaming their video signal to an operator wearing a head-mounted display.
A normal robot normally has two hydraulic cylinders, balanced against each other but in this robot, the researchers have paired air filled cylinders instead of water filled cylinders.
The new hydrostatic transmission combines hydraulic and pneumatic lines. This transmission has almost no friction or play, offering extreme precision for tasks such as threading a sewing needle.
This robot contains arms coupled to an identical control figure, hidden behind a wall and with the help of this; the robot would be used for human-robot interaction research.
“The hybrid transmission makes it possible to halve the number of bulky hydraulic lines that a fully hydraulic system would require. Robotic limbs can now be made lighter and smaller,” said John P Whitney, assistant professor of mechanical and industrial engineering at Northeastern University.
“The transmission provides our robot with incredibly smooth and fast motion, while allowing life-like interaction with people and the handling of delicate objects," added co-author Jessica Hodgins, vice president at Disney Research and professor of robotics at Carnegie Mellon University.
“For now, the robot is remotely controlled by a human operator, but we would expect the same level of mechanical performance once the motions are automated,” she added.
The team, with this new technology, will report at the IEEE Conference on Robotics and Automation 2016 to be held in Stockholm, Sweden, on May 17.