Researchers at North-eastern released a video on the previous day demonstrating a robot arm smoothly mimicking the actions of a researcher. The group has been trying to eliminate stiff and jerky movements of robotic arms and make them gentle and smooth.
The researcher was wearing a C-shaped gripping claw in his right hand while showing actions to the robotic arm. He raised his arm, swept it left and right, and bent it at the wrist, smooth actions that were copied in tandem by the robotic arm.
The north-eastern project is dedicated to building remote-controlled robotic arms that do not have heavy motors. With no motors in the arm, they are much lighter than a traditional arm,” says Peter Whitney, assistant professor of mechanical and industrial engineering at North-eastern. “So now if you have a lighter arm, it’s much easier to move it around.”
“It’s hard to perceive exactly where the robot is, relative to the environment—whether it’s touching something or not, or how or how hard it is touching an object,” explains Whitney, whose research is focused on the design of robots, the materials they are made of, and how they are operated and controlled.
“These are all factors that can influence how we can get good performance, but also maintain safety,” he adds. The researchers expect this discovery could one day lead to doctors to remotely perform surgery on a distant battlefield or help bomb disposal experts safely remove an explosive device