This Robotic Tool Respects People and Objects in Its Surroundings

By: Charlotte Joyce Kidd - Oct 26, 2015
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This robot arm can sense where people and objects are located in its surroundings, and responds accordingly.

The SEAMLESS robot arm was developed by SINTEF, a research center in Oslo. SINTEF previously gained attention for its videos of ping pong-playing robots, a robot that rewrote the Bible in calligraphy and a robocoaster that gave people a robotic amusement park ride.

This time, SINTEF developed a robot arm that adjusts its movements every 10 ms to avoid obstacles in its surroundings. Based on 3D sensor data, the SEAMLESS robot arm can identify blockages in its pathway and move to a different trajectory. The robot arm will be extremely useful in factory assembly line environments, where automated workers can be of limited use due to their inability to interact with and adapt to the human work going on around them.