Researchers Teach Robots to Grasp and Pick up Reflective Objects

How many robots does it take to change a lightbulb? Until this recent work from Carnegie Mellon University, none. Here’s more from SlashGear:

One of the coolest features of the new technique developed by the team is that it doesn’t require complicated sensors, lots of training, or human guidance. Instead, it relies primarily on a color camera embedded in the robot arm. Researcher David Held said that death cameras shine infrared light on an object to determine its shape, and that technique works well for opaque objects. The Challenge with transparent and reflective objects is the light either passes straight through or scatters off the surface preventing the depth camera from calculating an accurate shape.

However, a color camera can see transparent and reflective objects as well as opaque ones. The researchers developed a color camera system that’s able to recognize shapes based on color. Using the technique, the researchers were able to train the system to imitate the depth system and implicitly infer shape to grasp objects.

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