02 Apr '13, 3pm

DARPA ARM Robot Can Now Change Your Tires

Last time we saw DARPA's Autonomous Robotic Manipulation testbed robot, it grabbed one of our cameras by the face . That was fun, but it's not especially practical. Now, this—this is practical: using some low-cost (sub-$3,000) hands from iRobot and Sandia National Labs, the robot can now autonomously use tools to mostly change a car tire. A bit of an abrupt ending, perhaps, but as far as roboticists are concerned, if bolting a wheel onto a car is just un bolting it run backwards, solving one means they've solved the other. For the record, though, they're still working on getting the bolts threaded back onto the nuts. There are two things going on here that are worth getting excited about. Thing one is that the ARM robot is learning to work in unstructured environments , which is a fancy way of saying that it's got a chance of being able to do stuff outside of the lab it wa...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/humanoids/dar...

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