Technology

Festo’s AI drive robotic arm is a sight to behold

Robotic arm of a person

Artificial Intelligence has reached a place where it is hard for us to tell who is smarter, a human or a robot made by a human. There are two different questions when it comes to Artificial Intelligence, first is how improved do us humans want it to be, and the second is why is it existing in the first place. These are the only two questions we need to answer. However, there is still a lot of improvement needed before we reach a point of singularity.

There are people who are doubting the technology and think that AIs might be harmful to the human race but it is ridiculous to think that at this moment. However, a few decades down the line, that might be a viable worry. That said, there are many amazing things which are being achieved by the AI at the moment. The human effort is being reduced every single day by one company or the other. Today we are going to look at a robotic arm that will help us realize how advanced the technology is at the moment.

Festo is a company which has developed a robotic arm known as BionicSoftHand. It is an arm, like a literal arm which is soft and friendly when it comes to humans. It has a certain skillset and can manage to work as a human hand by understanding what the object is. It can understand the geometry of the object and has the ability to use it based on the shape and size of the object.

All of this is possible with the help of Artificial Intelligence. This is a huge development as these arms can help the people who are disabled in a way and can serve them well. That said, there are 3D cameras and depth sensors which scan the object in hand and then the AI then simulates different ways to handle that object through a trial and error basis but just does it by simulating. Once the simulation is done with the help of time-snapping process then the robot determines the right ways to handle the object. This is done in seconds.

In the demo video, the robot arm is able to roll a dodecahedron around without dropping it and it learned about the object with the help of AI. If it was not for the AI it would take around three to four months for the robotic arm to learn about the object and handle it.

The fingers of BionicSoftHand are made from 3D textile-knitted fabric. It uses elastic and strength fibers. There are bellows in the joints which allows the air to enter and exit. The arm is also equipped with tactile sensors and the flexible circuit board. The thumb and the index fingers are able to move in sideways direction with the help of Pneumatic Swivels.

Such inventions are the reason why AI can be very helpful to humans as this arm can be extremely useful in many situations.

-Unmesh Phule

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