Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

Obrero Robot Has The Soft Touch

Obrero is a prototype robot built to explore the concept of sensitive manipulation; its grasp is very soft because it uses sensors in its robotic hand when manipulating objects, rather than just relying on machine vision.


(Obrero robot with sensitive manipulation)

Obrero has 8 force sensors, 5 position sensors, 5 motors and 7 high resolution tactile sensors in its hands.

The hand was designed to be compliant. It has postion and force control of the fingers. Additionally, it has very sensitive tactile sensors. Each of the fingers has series elastic actuators in its joints. A finger has two mecahnical coupled links. However they can decouple to conform to an object. The thumb and the middle finger can also rotate using series elastic actuator. The tactile sensors were custom made for doing manipulation task.

Take a look at a just a few seconds video showing Obrero picking up a very flexible object - a bag of my favorite cookies! This is a compilation video; the Obrero robot portion is just from 2:40 to 3:15.


(Obrero robot video [starts at about 2:40])

Obrero is a robotic project being worked on by Eduardo Torres-Jara and supervised by MIT Professor Rodney A. Brooks. Dr. Brooks is a co-founder of iRobot; he left his post of CTO a year ago to found his own robotics company, Heartland Robotics.

On his website, he states that "I want to effect a powerful evolution in the world's labor markets, and my current focus is to develop low-cost robots that will empower American workers." Obrero is where he is starting to do this work.

As it turns out, science fiction fans have been in good (robotic) hands as far as imagining robot hands that are controlled both by touch and by sight. Read what sf Grandmaster Robert Heinlein writes in his 1956 story The Door Into Summer.

Hands I could order from the atomics-engineering equipment companies who supplied Hired Girl's hands, only this time I would want the best, with wide-range servos and with the delicate feedback required for microanalysis manipulations and for weighing radioactive isotopes...

The ears I could buy from any of a dozen radio-TV houses - though I might have to do some circuit designing to have his hands controlled simultaneously by sight, sound, and touch feedback the way the human hand is controlled.
(Read more about Heinlein's robotic hands)

Take a look at the Obrero homepage; not much to see yet at the Heartland Robotics company website. Via NextBigFuture.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/6/2009)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 3 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

Giving Snakes Their Legs Back
Then some unknown race had chanced upon the dreamers and decided to 'help them out.' - Vernor Vinge, 1992.

Video! Chess Robot Breaks Opponent's Finger In Match
'A robot may not injure a human being.' - Isaac Asimov, 1942.

NAVER Labs Haptic Device 2.0 Robot vs. IKEA
'... the two pairs of waldoes in the screen followed in exact, simultaneous parallelism.' - Robert Heinlein, 1942.

Dyson's Secret Household Robots
'...work a human being does around a house.' - Robert Heinlein, 1956.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Current News

Giving Snakes Their Legs Back
Then some unknown race had chanced upon the dreamers and decided to 'help them out.'

'Ring Nation' Show Predicted By William Gibson In 1999
'... you had your trademark Lucky Dragon Global Interactive Video Column outside.'

SolarXOne Solar-Powered Drone Flies (almost) Forever
'It's an Indian Air Force drone; its solar cells could power an entire farm.'

Video! Chess Robot Breaks Opponent's Finger In Match
'A robot may not injure a human being.'

Virtual Co-Embodyment - Two People Control One Virtual Body
'... we were supposed to be forming five unit composites first."

The Wanderer: Eyebot From Fallout, Eye From Zelazny
'We send our eyes on their appointed rounds, and they can hover or soar or back up...'

Experts Decry Planet-Scale Schemes To Limit Global Heating
'Light from the sun hit those little spheres and bounced.'

OrganEx Revives The Organs In Dead Pig
'Wakened into half-life activity one hour a month...'

NAVER Labs Haptic Device 2.0 Robot vs. IKEA
'... the two pairs of waldoes in the screen followed in exact, simultaneous parallelism.'

Spaceships Should Last So Long
'THE SPACE VESSEL was traveling swiftly… For over five thousand years they had Voyaged on and on.’

Shine On, Portable Wind Turbine
'Sometimes a man has a windmill on his roof...'

Amazing Indoor Robotic Drones Mimic Dolphins and Whales
'They circled the vast audiences, dancing, twittering, chirping...'

Space Station Shutters
'The sun-quilt was a patchwork of colors and materials on the inward side, but silvered on the outward side...'

Tiny Mining - Extract Precious Industrial Minerals From Your Own Body
'Jim, I saw them reduce four of my doctors and nurses into those little cubes!'

MIT Proposes Space Bubbles To Combat Climate Change, Misses The Point Of Space Bubbles
'Fats Jordan was hanging in the center of the Big Glass Balloon, hugging his guitar to his massive black belly above his purple shorts..'

Tianjin Solar Vehicle From Hanergy (2022) Looking Like Heinlein's (1940)
'When confronted by hills, or rough terrain, it did not stop, but simply slowed until the task demanded equaled its steady power output.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.