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On the Gripping Hand

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the grab-twist-and-pull dept.

Science 162

eek_the_kat writes "The Sensor Fusion Project at Ishikawa Hashimoto Laboratory has developed a high speed visual feedback system called SPE-256. It allows the robot to track fast randomly moving objects and grasp them (movies here). The applications seem endless! I have seen many robot mpegs as of late, many courtesy of /., but these have to be some of the coolest I have ever come across. A must see."

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162 comments

Please... Let's get it out of the way... (0, Insightful)

Michael's a Jerk! (668185) | more than 10 years ago | (#6203503)

No Wank Jokes please. You're not funny.

Re:Please... Let's get it out of the way... (0, Troll)

Millbuddah (677912) | more than 10 years ago | (#6203508)

Awwww..... but the applications of this technology towards the 21st Century G.I. Joe with Kung Fu Grip(TM) could be revolutionary!!

TELEDILDONICS!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6203517)

Oh cum on, we all know that porn drives modern tech way more than any other sector.

I'm not going to be, ahem, satisfied until this technology is properly applied!

Yeah, don't stop. Just like that. Oh, yeah, Please don't stop. Please. Aaaaaaahhhhh.

Mop Parent Up (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6203522)

On the Gripping Hand?

The trolls will be out in force for this article. A pre-emptive strike was called for.

Re:Please... Let's get it out of the way... (-1)

ringbarer (545020) | more than 10 years ago | (#6203669)

Just as long as they don't market it as the "Whangmangleotron 3000", I'll be happy.

Friend of Dorothy (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6203675)

I'd like to give Michael a Mapplethrope "Wiz".

Queer Arts Forum [queer-arts.org]

According to Colacello the idea for the paintings had its origins in "sex clubs" and gay bath houses, including one in New York called the Toilet, where "there were tubs and troughs where naked men lay for other naked men to urinate on them." With either horror or glee, Colacello exclaims, "It was like a Robert Mapplethorpe photograph come alive."

Ironing (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6203505)

Still cant do the ironing though!

Or the hovering, or washing plates, or .....

Re:Ironing (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6203746)

Dude, that's what marriage is for.

Episode 10: Situation Report (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6203506)

The aroma of premium Samâ(TM)s Choice coffee infiltrated my nose as I sipped a cup delicately. Robert would be arriving momentarily, and I would request a situation report. He and I are, of course, the guardians of a Walmart Supercenter located inside of the prosperous community of Jasper, Texas.

Weâ(TM)ve encountered Paul Cryer, who initiated litigation after his SUV impacted my elite patrol vehicle, and miscellaneous other members of the nefarious Three Pointed Conspiracy. Our integrity, however, is the origin of our strength. We will never abdicate our store. I digress.

"Peter!" exclaimed Robert, emerging from the door leading to the lawn and garden center.

"Robert," I smiled, "youâ(TM)re fifty seconds late. I will not accept such unpunctual behavior. What if a situation occurred in your absence?"

My protégé said nothing, instead walking to the vending counter and drawing a cup of coffee. I wouldnâ(TM)t punish him this evening. "How was your day?" I asked.

"It was fine," said Robert, "but you need to listen to this. There was a situation today at the restaurant!" You see, Robert is also employed by the prestigious Catfish Diner restaurant, which is regarded by many as the most elegant dining establishment in Jasper! Their all-you-can-eat seafood buffet, although expensive, is quite exquisite. I recommend it. Once again, however, I digress.

I turned to Robert. "What was the situation?"

"Well, this man came in," he said, "a man from Houston. It was strange, though, as the emblem on his car wasnâ(TM)t" â" Robert paused â" "I mean, he didnâ(TM)t seem to be a member of the Three Pointed Conspiracy. But, as we both know from experience, such terrible people are unable to conceal their true nature!"

"What happened?" I inquired, attempting to suppress my concern. Robertâ(TM)s safety was of an imperative nature.

"Well, it didnâ(TM)t become physical," he said, "so I didnâ(TM)t need to thrash him. People were obviously intimidated, though. I walked to his table.

"âWhat would you like this evening, sir?â(TM) I asked.

"âLook, man, is there any way you can get me some Starbucks coffee?â(TM)

"âStarbucks coffee? I donâ(TM)t believe we serve that, sir. Would you like some Community Coffee instead?â(TM)

"âI donâ(TM)t drink anything that gives me running diarrhea!â(TM) he said, raising his voice as if he were insulted. âI guess Iâ(TM)ll have some Coke. Anything to keep me awake so that I can get out of this anus of a city tonight.â(TM)

"I must admit that he was beginning to offend me. However, like an experienced waiter, I suppressed my anger. âYes, sir,â(TM) I said, and returned with his drink.

"âLook, man, Iâ(TM)m sure that all of your food sucks anyway, and you only serve a buffet. Itâ(TM)s probably something that I wouldnâ(TM)t even feed my dogs, but Iâ(TM)m desperate. So, Iâ(TM)ll have that.â(TM)

"âYes, sir,â(TM) I responded, âbut our food is excellent. In fact, it is superlative. Our seafood is delivered fresh once every week!â(TM)

"âThatâ(TM)s great,â(TM) he said, laughing, âbut tell your master chef not to screw me over too badly, aâ(TM)ight?â(TM)

"I must concede that I ignored the manâ(TM)s request. I returned with a plate and some silverware, which he snatched promptly from my hands. Fifteen minutes later, I returned with his tab. âHere, sir,â(TM) I said, âthank you for dining with us this evening.â(TM)

"âMy displeasure,â(TM) said the man, handing me a car key, âthis food was terrible, by the way. If this happened at any other restaurant, I would probably shoot the chef. My Lexus is parked outside. Bring it to the front door, please, and donâ(TM)t forget: there are two towels inside of the glove box. Use the smaller one to grip the steering wheel. Place the larger towel between yourself and the seat. I wouldnâ(TM)t want some incompetent like you to contaminate my vehicle.â(TM)

"Quite desperately, I stepped outside and located the manâ(TM)s automobile. I drove it to the front door. I was just being hospitable, you know. Then he stepped outside.

"âI see the grease on my steering wheel from here, you little bastard!â(TM) he exclaimed. I began to anticipate a quarrel. âYou didnâ(TM)t use the towels, did you?â(TM)

"âNo,â(TM) I quipped, âI didnâ(TM)t use the towels. Where are you from, anyway?â(TM)

"âIâ(TM)m from Houston,â(TM) the man replied as he entered the vehicle, âan excellent city, where everybody is just like me!â(TM)"

Walmart Security (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6203515)

Comment [slashdot.org] without sacrificing karma.

Re:Walmart Security (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6203615)

Why is this comment always on the bottom of the comment-list???

Site is Slashdotted - and no comments! (2, Informative)

Michael's a Jerk! (668185) | more than 10 years ago | (#6203512)

Here's the shameless Google Mirror [216.239.33.100]

A human being recognizes external environment by using many kinds of sensory information. By integrating these information and making up lack of information for each other, a more reliable and multilateral recognition can be achieved. The purpose of Sensor Fusion Project is to realize new sensing architecture by integrating multi-sensor information and to develop hierarchical and decentralized architecture for recognizing human beings further. As a result, more reliable and multilateral information can be extracted, which can realize high level recognition mechanism.

Note that the site is mostly pictures, which explained why it went down so quickly. There's almost no decent text at all :-(

Re:Site is Slashdotted - and no KARMA WHORE (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6203535)

-1:redundant

It's dead, Jim (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6203541)

The site is slashdotted - posting the google cache is a public service.

Or do you think you know more then the moderators? Their smart enough to think for themselves.

Re:It's dead, Jim (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6203551)

posting the google cache is a public service. Copy/pasting useless lines from the site when the guy admits himself it's all about video and pictures is karma whoring.

Re:It's dead, Jim (0, Offtopic)

Dthoma (593797) | more than 10 years ago | (#6203685)

"Or do you think you know more then the moderators?"

I probably don't know more in general than the moderators, but I'd say I know more about moderation than the moderators. I've seen a "Slashdot is gay" troll modded up to (3, Insightful). I've seen a Matrix Reloaded spoiler modded up to 4; ditto article text trolls. I've seen countless curt though otherwise insightful comments modded down to (-1, Flamebait). I've seen driveby moderations of controversial comments and I've been the victim of a rogue moderator who hit five or six of my comments with Overrated moderations. I've seen trollish pro-Windows and pro-Linux rants with bad spelling and grammar modded up to 2 or 3. I've seen a repost of the "Gentoo Linux Zealot translator" modded up to 4. I've seen posts that do nothing but suck up to the moderators get a score of 5 with Interesting or Insightful moderations. People getting the first or second post have been hit with -1, Redundant. The list goes on and on.

Please don't try to tell me that the moderators know what the hell they're doing. I've seen too many examples of it being perverted. The M1 system is fundamentally broken:
  • People get unequal numbers of points
  • Moderators are randomly chosen from the /. population
  • There are random intervals of time between M1 opportunities
  • The sheep effect: latter moderations of a comment generally duplicate that of the first
  • Overrated and Underrated: why?
  • Ridiculously easy to subvert
  • Ridiculously widely subverted
  • Can't handle large crapfloods
So, no, I don't think the moderators are smart enough to think for themselves.

Worse, still, apparently CmdrTaco himself refuses to fix the trolls. He says himself in the FAQ that he has no plans to make Underrated or Overrated M2'able, or to stop the editors from having more mod points, or to just give everyone more mod points, or anything else which could help the system. His changes have just served to obfuscate the system; hiding "Overrated" and "Underrated" from the "Score: X, Modifier" text, using percentages to show total moderations and keeping the system for selecting and removing moderators wrapped up in a pile of unreadable Slash code: don't tell me it's not unreadable, since I have a copy of the "overhauled" Slash 2.2.6 Perl code, and it's buried in subfolder upon subfolder with a dozen different types of files.

And what will happen now? I'll no doubt be slapped with a (-1, Offtopic) or (-1, Troll) by those very same moderators the parent post is defending, which serves to reinforce my point. The moderation system and the moderators themselves are horrendously broken and no one is willing to do anything about it; the users are too apathetic and moronic, the trolls are too busy trying to further demonstrate the stupidity of it and the head honchos are burying their heads in the sand or attacking other innocents with bitchslaps to compensate for their bruised egos. Just beneath the seemingly successful surface of moderation lies a horrible seething, teeming mass of gleeful trolls, random users and vindictive editors clawing at each other. Is there a way out? Yes, but unfortunately there is little you can do about it. The only people who can really make an immediate difference are the site coders, but they're too far removed from it to noticce what's going on. You can try to help by no longer moderating - M2 instead. If enough people do this then maybe it might just make them sit up and notice.

I hope you appreciate the salient points I have made. Thank you for taking the time to read this post and moderating me "Insightful".

Re:It's dead, Jim (0, Redundant)

rixster (249481) | more than 10 years ago | (#6203773)

I once posted to what was known as "the thread of death", which was a big hoohah about this kind of thing. It became very obvious very quickly that someone was moderating every post down to -1 with unlimited mod points - even though at the time the FAQ stated that this would never have happened. Eventually, someone fessed up that the eds did have unlimited mod points and that they were just trying to keep the flow on topic - but my card was marked with "Do not allow to mod again" and since that day I never have..... Let's see how long this post lasts as well, eh ??

Re:It's dead, Jim (1, Offtopic)

Bunji X (444592) | more than 10 years ago | (#6203846)

What could really fix M1 is making it non-anonymous, like K5. I think it would at least remove some of the problems with stalkers.

Re:Site is Slashdotted - and no comments! (2, Informative)

cilix (538057) | more than 10 years ago | (#6203690)

Any reason the link you posted was to an IP? Seems like a crazy thing to do, since it could well lead to the google mirror being /.ed. That link presumably bypasses all their load balancing stuff.

Not a biggy, just wondering if there was a reason that wasn't immediately obvious. (maybe that is the exact url that google gives out, which would be silly of them).

Re:Site is Slashdotted - and no comments! (1, Offtopic)

jpmkm (160526) | more than 10 years ago | (#6203727)

Uh... maybe the IP address is the address of a load balancer. With such a large volume of traffic as google I imagine actual load balancing equipment would be much better than some kind of round-robin dns system. In any case, I'm sure they know what they are doing.

Re:Site is Slashdotted - and no comments! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6203757)

Is this the open source businessmodel?

1: Write free software.
2: ?
3: Make sensors that recognise stuff.
4: Profit!

How fast (1, Redundant)

kamukwam (652361) | more than 10 years ago | (#6203518)

It seems that I can't reach the website, but I wonder how fast things can go if the robot is still able to catch them?

Maybe we could see the first robots competing in sports (except for chess) in the next few years?

Re:How fast (2, Informative)

Harlow_B_Ashur (35202) | more than 10 years ago | (#6203540)

Got a look at two of the clips.

I would describe the speed as on the order of 1/3 the speed of a dog being teased with a tennis ball.

And the sequence looked about the same; the robot hand follows the ball back and forth just like a dog a then lunges out to grab it when it sees its opportunity.

Re:How fast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6203616)

Not very. It looks very shaky and unsure of itself.

Re:How fast (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6203800)

Got a look at two of the clips.

I would describe the speed as on the order of 1/3 the speed of a dog being teased with a tennis ball.

And the sequence looked about the same; the robot hand follows the ball back and forth just like a dog a then lunges out to grab it when it sees its opportunity.
>
>

Another thing if you noticed, the motion of the ball on the stick *WAS NOT* random. It was basically back and forth.

You could kick the ball around and the dog would still track it.

Re:How fast (1)

chendo (678767) | more than 10 years ago | (#6203581)

Why not chess? Give them 30 seconds per side for a whole game with physical clocks and see how they fare ;)

I've seen real life chess games with 5 seconds on each clock. Pieces flew everywhere, player's other hand was always on the clock, etc.

Re:How fast (2)

kamukwam (652361) | more than 10 years ago | (#6203585)

Sorry, maybe my comment was not clear. I meant that in chess computers already can compete with and beat humans. In all other sports like football, baseball etc. it may be possible now in the next few years.

Re:How fast (1)

Yokaze (70883) | more than 10 years ago | (#6203650)

You mean something like Robocup [robocup.org] mentioned previously [slashdot.org] on Slashdot?

I have no problems reaching the site. Actually, it loads quite fast, I dare to say. So, maybe the connection between the US and Japan is saturated :).

Coolest thing? Must see huh? (0, Troll)

netsharc (195805) | more than 10 years ago | (#6203519)

You must be feeling pretty smug, being able to see those "cool" videos, and then teasing us about it.. bastard. ;)

Police Bots (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6203521)

A tip for criminals if you get chased by a Police Bot:

Don't run randomly, run in a definate pattern.

--
Pr0n: getting too much? [porn-free.org]

Obligitory /. meta-meme (-1, Redundant)

Glyndwr (217857) | more than 10 years ago | (#6203524)

Just imagine what we could do with a Beowulf cluster of these!

Can You Imagine.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6203682)

...a Beowulf cluster of Obligitory /. meta-memes?

Car Security (4, Funny)

mothrathegreat (542532) | more than 10 years ago | (#6203547)

I want one of these hooked up to my car alarm to rip the carjacker's nuts off.

Re:Car Security (4, Funny)

bishopi (662205) | more than 10 years ago | (#6203567)

I want one of these hooked up to my car alarm to rip the carjacker's nuts off.

I was actually thinking one robot hand to grip the skull, and apply appropriate movements of the skull to allow a second hand (Johnny Scissorhands variety) to perform a random action from a shortlist - eg :

a) Slash throat
b) Remove eyes
c) Pierce windpipe
d) Tear nuts off and feed to criminal

The possibilities are endless!

Ian

Re:Car Security (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6203787)

Why do you assume that he would be a he (i.e. with nuts)? I'm sure $exyGrl (or whatever her name is), the only girl on slashdot, will be very annoyed.

Re:Car Security (2, Funny)

Sevn (12012) | more than 10 years ago | (#6203917)

$exyGrl is actually a bored 56 year old plumber
from upstate newyork with a huge beergut and a love
for wearing women's lingerie. There are no real
women on the net. It's a conspiracy.

"The Gripping Hand" (0, Troll)

Old Man Trouble (674594) | more than 10 years ago | (#6203559)

I'm rather sure there are vast amounts of experts around here.

Re:"The Gripping Hand" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6203686)

Nobody can help you if you are an asshole, Old Man Trouble.

scary stuff (1)

odyrithm (461343) | more than 10 years ago | (#6203565)

so how long untill honda stick this kind of technology in ASIMO and it goes super fast ninja style on everyones arses? just a thought.. it is scary just how fast it is and this is just the initial stages.

Another VLSI breakthrough (1, Redundant)

Rxke (644923) | more than 10 years ago | (#6203571)

Seems like the days off CCD are numbered... this system uses VLSI instead of CCD, much easier to produce and integrate on a chips, heck, it IS the same technology they use to produce chips. Digital camera's are bound to reduce in price thanks to VLSI, already you can buy professional digital camera's using this technology, for an unheard of price. On the topic of this robot thingy itself: think some NASA scientist are going ballistic if they see this, they're also studying on this, but the results are A LOT slower. (they say it's due to the admittetly extraordinary complicated maths/ volume of calculations involved, guess they'll have to rethink some of these claims) Boy oh boy, what they do not show on the video's, is the size of the computer controlling it, they claim is fairly integrated, but, it's always easy to rig a puppet on a string demonstration, where a CrayII runs the show, behind the curtains...

Re:Another VLSI breakthrough (5, Informative)

deepchasm (522082) | more than 10 years ago | (#6203618)

This system uses VLSI instead of CCD

Erm VLSI just means putting lots of stuff on one chip (Very Large Scale Integration). Do you mean "CMOS instead of CCD"?

(more detailed explanation) [vvl.co.uk]

The increased framerates possible using this technology, rather than CCD, probably help when doing fast motion detection as the robot in the article is doing.

Re:Another VLSI breakthrough (1)

Rxke (644923) | more than 10 years ago | (#6203720)

Erhmmmm... exactly, me bad. /sips coffee/ 'n it's indeed the increased framerates that seem to be the major influence there.

And I was about to buy that CCD camera (1)

nounderscores (246517) | more than 10 years ago | (#6203645)

Very interesting. What would happen if somebody came up with a whole camera and image processor on a chip which works something like the human retina (ie, pictures come in as photons, descriptions of objects and their spatial relationships come out as electrical impulses)? Or is that what the slashdotted article was about?

Also, Alan Turing once said that one way to make an artifical intelligence is to make an artificial baby and then "educate" it to the level of an intelligent adult.

I'm glad that robots too will now have a chance to play catch in the back yard with their parents.

Lets just show them a bit more respect than B1-66ER got when they grow up.

Shameless Matrix reference (2, Funny)

gringer (252588) | more than 10 years ago | (#6203575)

What are you saying? When I use SPE-C, I can catch bullets?

What I'm saying, is that when you're ready, you won't have to.

Re:Shameless Matrix reference (1)

Cylix (55374) | more than 10 years ago | (#6203723)

No gringer,

What I'm saying, is when that time comes, you won't have to.

(because you will probably dead from the all the rat tat tat of the urban terrorists uzi emptying into your chest)

Re:Shameless Matrix reference (1)

MTWZZ (409893) | more than 10 years ago | (#6203835)

With this technology it should be possible.
On the other hand.. bullets travel pretty fast and creating
a shockabsorber capable of actually "catching" the
bullet would be nearly impossible.

I covered this last year (4, Interesting)

Goon Number 1 (168487) | more than 10 years ago | (#6203576)

Here. [weblogs.com]. "It looks like high contrast items are needed for the tracking system to work optimally, but a combination of sonar overlayed with ccds and IR would likely make that less of an issue. It appears that vison is done through a video camera that tracks the moving object, and in turn controls the arm. Also, interesting reflex action with the thumb serving to close the hand once contact is made. Hmm, as I watch more of the videos I'm less and less impressed, It looks like the handler is actually all but feeding the objects to the arm, not unlike teaching a kid to catch a ball by placing it in their hands. That's a shame really." (Edited for spelling)

Re:I covered this last year (1)

jwdb (526327) | more than 10 years ago | (#6203655)

I agree for some of those videos, but in "hand-arm.mpeg", for instance, as soon as he holds the block
still for a second, the arm distinctly reaches out and grabs it. What I'm curious about is what causes
the arm to stop simply following the object and actually try to grab it.

Jw

impressive (1)

a8f11t18 (614700) | more than 10 years ago | (#6203579)

to some it might not look like much, but this
was quite impressive IMO.. things are indeed
moving forwards in the field of robotics, and who
knows maybe we WILL see human-like robots in our
lifetime, if only as walmart clerks and the likes :D

Is it real? (4, Interesting)

NemesisStar (619232) | more than 10 years ago | (#6203590)

First up, hooray for me I managed to get to the site before it got slashdotted.

Ok, now that I'm done with that, am I the only one that's dubious as to whether this is real or not? Admittedly I've only inspected the videos and not checked out the rest of the site, but it looks to me as though a lot of those moves can be programmed in and "acted" out by the object.

The best example of this is the handshake. Notice how the hand is not even in the right position to SHAKE a hand until near the end when the hand rotates 90 odd degrees (so it looks like a hand that could possibly be shaken) and then the human hand moves in nice and slowly. Any old dolt can shake a fake hand, I'll bet the robot hand doesn't give half as firm of a handshake as my little brother. :)

It even looks as though the robot shakes the hand one more time than the human expects.

I'm sure that they've made leaps and bounds into robotic hands, but I can't help but suspect that they're playing it up for more than it's worth.

Re:Is it real? (1)

evanism (600676) | more than 10 years ago | (#6203670)

I suspect the dude was more concerned about his hand being torn off or crushed like putty !!

Re:Is it real? (1)

Rxke (644923) | more than 10 years ago | (#6203764)

Had the same thoughts, generally. But reading the various textsnippets, they seem honest (yea, who can tell) the reason for the 'extra handshake' might be their implementation of a calculation trick (smart) that calculates how to move in the opposite direction BEFORE movement is completed, some kind of seeing ahead, figuring out what to do after the thing it is actually doing (wow, sounds non sensical, i know) Also, they use a virtual layer around objects, like if you have that cube, it calculates a virtual bigger cube around it, and follows that, after a while, it goes in for grasping, into the direction of the virtual cube, easier to follow i guess, and then it 'fine-tunes' for the real thing. But still... that handshake looked really fishy, esp. the 90 degree rotation....

Sunday - Let's go to Church (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6203596)

Today is Sunday, and I hope to see you in Church. Bring your bible if you have one. Bring a friend too.

If you don't have a Church, why not try the one nearest to where you live. You'll be glad you made the trip. See you there!

Fishing (4, Funny)

jabbadabbadoo (599681) | more than 10 years ago | (#6203607)

Well, once they get out a waterproof version, I'll program one to catch fish. Yum, yum. Can't wait.

Re:Fishing (1)

dtldl (644451) | more than 10 years ago | (#6203754)

1. Develop high speed tracking and grasping robot 2. Create water proof version 3. ????? 4. Sell to pr0n company and Profit!!!!!

Is it real? (4, Interesting)

PhunkySchtuff (208108) | more than 10 years ago | (#6203611)

It looks like the camera is doing some pretty funky location detectiion - in 3D.
I could only see one camera in their schematics and in all the videos.
How does the robot arm locate the object in a 3 dimensional space, using only one eye?
Other than that, it looks very cool...
-k

Re:Is it real? (5, Informative)

BooRadley (3956) | more than 10 years ago | (#6203713)

How does the robot arm locate the object in a 3 dimensional space, using only one eye?

The "eye" is really a high-speed sensor for a system of computers. The computers make calculations based on the fixed location of the camera and the variable, but known location of the robotic hand to determine the location in 3D space of the target. Then the target is stationary past a certain threshold time, the hand reaches out to grab it.

The computer array constantly updates the position of the arm and hand to try and match the location of the target, and that's where you get the illusion of human movement.

The human-like hand on the end of this arm is probably for the psychological benefit of investors, who would probably shit their pants at the sight of a high speed robotic claw grasping things dangled in front of it.

Realize its full potential... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6203612)

The applications seem endless!

But what happens when you put the Power Glove on it?

I love the Power Glove. It's so bad...

Teaching a new dog old tricks (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6203621)

It looks just like a person playing games with a dog! My girlfriend's terrier plays like that, tracking a waved object, waiting until it slows down enough to be grabbable and then darting in. Wonder if the reserachers had to play with their robot to train it?

Really impressive, but... (3, Interesting)

allanj (151784) | more than 10 years ago | (#6203628)

I'd like to know how many times it fails before it manages to grasp the objects. If it fails, like, 50 times for each success, then I'm a lot less impressed. I saw the videos (server not slashdotted form where I sit), and the speed and precision with which the hand moves around is really impressive - sure hope this is for real.
I've been doing some robot control software myself (trying to make it drive towards a moving target, using vision guidance) and that much simpler task was hard enough.

Re:Really impressive, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6203724)

HELLO!!!???? How many more HOURS will I have to wait for the next article you IDIOTS????
For fuck's sake people must submit thousands of stories every day why do these idiots not let them through!?

Foreign devils! (0, Redundant)

Cornelius Chesterfie (604463) | more than 10 years ago | (#6203630)

You gaijins are raping the server.

Yet another Slashdot link to bookmark and then revisit after the article is off the front page...

Re:Foreign devils! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6203660)

I told you the US was harboring WMD!!

It's a joke, laugh.

Re:Foreign devils! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6203767)

You really oughtn't pluralise gaijin.

Real improvement (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6203635)

Seems like a real improvement. It's hard to tell exactly from the movies, but I have the impression that they have improved the 'grasping process' considerably. I mean, putting the right amount of pressure, at the right angle at the right moment is very difficult at best and is closely related to vision. They developed their own vision system and validate it in a 'robotic environment'. A good piece of research that needs to be continued for sure!

Be afraid (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6203641)

That's what the hand will look like that slashes your throat in 2035 because it's more efficient to arm the extermination robots with knives rather than bullets that have to be replaced.

At the Safety Checkpoints, at the mall, at schools they could be seen, light glinting from faceted metal skulls as they scanned all who passed.

It was during a live 5am broadcast one morning of Bush's 8th consecutive term when he'd slurred out an announcement about his "little buddies" helping out in the war against terrorism. A week later, a million robots were killing all life forms that had appendages that could be loosely identified as "arms" due to a coding error that failed to properly identify the context of what coud be construed as a weapon. The last words most people heard for many months was "For the last time, I order you to drop your weapons!"

But even more gruesome scenes were to come when the robots began filtering back to weapons collection centers where they deposited the "weapons" they'd siezed and arranged them by species and appendage. Some of the more creative ones had broken into zoos and aquariums. And while
most of the government officials were partying in another globalist meeting in Zurich, there was noone home to put a halt to the prescripted robot-press event that would automatically photograph the results of the terrorist sweeps.

One of the last images the human race would ever broadcast into space was of a smiling robot holding up a pair of severed, bloody, duck-feet and proclaiming "We must be forever vigilant in our fight against terrorists!"

Aw, Mom! (4, Funny)

Asprin (545477) | more than 10 years ago | (#6203678)


BILLY!

Stop teasing the robot! You wouldn't like it if researchers kept taking your oblong right parallelipiped!

pearl harbor jokes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6203700)

there must be someone out there with a good one. i just can't think of one though...

insider info (4, Funny)

selderrr (523988) | more than 10 years ago | (#6203716)

i know from reliable source that this is not an inhouse development. It's just an arm they found in a steel-melting factory, along with a chip they haven't identified yet. And some frozen blubber.

Re:insider info (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6203902)

idiot moderators.

it's funny not "offtopic".

Grasping fast randomly moving objects (0, Offtopic)

Muhammar (659468) | more than 10 years ago | (#6203725)

Future likely application on a turtle ranch:

Turtle owner: "Where are all turtles?"
Cybogr the turtle sheppard: "Wait. I was counting them. One turtle, two turtles, three turtles... trrrr and suddenly they were all gone away, pro'ly off to someplace"

Re:Grasping fast randomly moving objects (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6203861)

What the hell are you talking about???

Time to get a grip? (1)

UberChuckMeister (619177) | more than 10 years ago | (#6203749)

Just wondering about the timing between when the hand is following the object and when it actually grips it.. I think someone mentioned earlier that the object is actually slowed when it is grasped... didn't notice that so much, but there was a question of is there some arbitrary time between when it first starts tracking and when it goes for the grab? Possibly just so that you can see the tracking system at work for like 5 seconds... not sure And what happens if it misses? does it try again? Or does it track with a closed hand? Cool and interesting none the less

Nice Niven reference... (2, Informative)

Enzo90910 (547270) | more than 10 years ago | (#6203763)

"On the gripping hand" :-)

Re:Nice Niven reference... (2, Informative)

Guano_Jim (157555) | more than 10 years ago | (#6203807)

For the uninitated, "On the Gripping Hand" refers to an expression used by the three-armed "Moties" in the Niven/Pournelle series that begins with The Mote in God's Eye.

When evaluating a decision, the Moties say, "on one hand, on the other hand, and on the gripping hand," giving them three options where a 2-handed human has two.

Obligatory Amazon Link [amazon.com]

Good book, but buy it from a used bookstore if you can.

Another system. (1)

Kickasso (210195) | more than 10 years ago | (#6203785)

I remember seeing it somewhere but can't seem to find any trace. In short, there was a robotic hand much like these guys use, but connected to a stereoscopic vision sensor. It was able to catch golf balls and paper airplanes thrown at it. Does somebody have a link?

Oh No! (3, Funny)

Cylix (55374) | more than 10 years ago | (#6203845)


With the advant of such new technologies, I fear many people will find their jobs automated.

Rat catchers, while not such a profession of pride, will now have a hard time finding work once this goes mainstream.

This device is a boon to the rat catcher industry and I would like to personally convey my feelings of grief for those who will now feel the boone new technology brings to their job market.

Joe Bob, a rat catcher since 12, had this to say: "Damn, Pa' always tol me and my brother we was chasin a pipe dream. I knewd I shoulda listened and hopped onto the IT market." (IT standing for Interstate Trucker)

Joe Bob, already forseeing the doomed market, has decided to persue his dreams and earning his MSCE certifications.

Truely a sad day.

Has anyone considered... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6203853)

Has anyone considered that this system might not be so revolutionarily fast...

The videos might be sped up to make it look all wicked fast.

Anyway, not trying to be all conspiratorial or anything... the thought just occured to me.

From the videos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6203923)

From the videos it looks like this is a fantastic advance in robotics. There are these arm and camera that track a white foam brick with great precision as the operator swings it around, then it grasps it when it is close enough... There are also videos of the operator shaking hands with the robot, or the arm holding a foam ball that then tries to avoid another ball that the operator swings at it.

It seems that the system has a reaction time of roughly one tenth of a second - just like the average human- but the website mentions 1 ms feedback delay... The movements are smooth and look natural...

...but I cannot help with the "Terminator" feeling.
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