The malleable arm is mostly bendy, with a rigid part at the end (P6-P5)
Imperial researchers have designed a malleable robotic arm that can be guided into shape by a person using augmented reality (AR) goggles.
The flexible arm, which was designed and created at Imperial College London, can twist and turn in all directions, making it readily customisable for potential applications in manufacturing, spacecraft maintenance, and even injury rehabilitation.
In many ways it can be seen as a detached, bendier, third arm. It could help in many situations where an extra limb might come in handy and help to spread the workload.
Alex Ranne and Angus ClarkDepartment of Computing/Dyson School of Design Engineering
Instead of being constrained by rigid limbs and firm joints, the versatile arm is readily bendable into a wide variety of shapes. In practice, people working alongside the robot would manually bend the arm into the precise shape needed for each task, a level of flexibility made possible by the slippery layers of mylar sheets inside, which slide over one another and can lock into place. However, configuring the robot into specific shapes without guidance has proven to be difficult for users.
We’ve shown that AR can simplify working alongside our malleable robot.
Dr Nicolas RojasDyson School of Design Engineering
To enhance the robot’s user-friendliness, researchers at Imperial’s REDS (Robotic manipulation: Engineering, Design, and Science) Lab have designed a system for users to see in AR how to configure their robot. Wearing mixed reality smart glasses and through motion tracking cameras, users see templates and designs in front of them superimposed onto their real-world environment. They then adjust the robotic arm until it matches the template, which turns green on successful configuration so that the robot can be locked into place.
Senior author of the paper Dr Nicolas Rojas, of Imperial’s Dyson School of Design Engineering, said: “One of the key issues in adjusting these robots is accuracy in their new position. We humans aren’t great at making sure the new position matches the template, which is why we looked to AR for help.
“We’ve shown that AR can simplify working alongside our malleable robot. The approach gives users a range of easy-to-create robot positions, for all sorts of applications, without needing so much technical expertise.”
Video detailing the configuration of the robot using AR
The researchers tested the system on five men aged 20-26 with experience in robotics but no experience with manipulating malleable robots specifically. The subjects were able to adjust the robot accurately, and the results are published in IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine.
Bent into shape
Potential applications include manufacturing, and building and vehicle maintenance. Because the arm is lightweight, it could also be used on spacecraft where every kilogram counts. It is also gentle enough that it could be used in injury rehabilitation, helping a patient perform an exercise while their physiotherapist performs another.
Co-first authors and PhD researchers Alex Ranne and Angus Clark, from the Department of Computing and Dyson School of Design Engineering respectively, said: “In many ways it can be seen as a detached, bendier, third arm. It could help in many situations where an extra limb might come in handy and help to spread the workload.”
The researchers are still in the process of perfecting the robot as well as its AR component. Next, they will look into introducing touch and audio elements to the AR to boost its accuracy in configuring the robot.
Although the pool of participants was narrow, the researchers say their initial findings show that AR could be a successful approach to adapting malleable robots following further testing and user training.
They are also looking into strengthening the robots. Although their flexibility and softness makes them easier to configure and maybe even safer to work alongside humans, they are less rigid while in the locked position, which could affect precision and accuracy.
Original Article: Bendy robotic arm twisted into shape with help of augmented reality
More from: Imperial College London
The Latest on: Augmented reality robotics
- Robots will restock grocery shelves in hundreds of stores amid labor shortageon August 9, 2022 at 5:35 pm
A robotics company is installing restocking robots in 300 grocery stores in Japan – and the plan is to bring the robots to the US, according to Telexistence, the Tokyo-based company that makes the ...
- Velodyne Lidar, Inc. (VLDR) Q2 2022 Earnings Call Transcripton August 8, 2022 at 6:30 pm
Q2 2022 Earnings Call Aug 08, 2022, 4:30 p.m. ET Good day, everyone, and welcome to the Velodyne Lidar second quarter 2022 financial results call. All participants will be in listen-only mode. Please ...
- 2002's Visions From the Futureon August 4, 2022 at 2:12 pm
It all sounds a bit like the future companies like Meta have in mind here in 2022. But it’s also what was being sold as “the future” when Gizmodo was first founded 20 years ago. We’ve been publishing ...
- Gadget season is here — new folding phones, watches and earbuds are comingon August 4, 2022 at 6:57 am
Over the next few weeks, major tech companies including Apple, Samsung, and Google are expected to announced new products ranging from watches, to smartphones.
- A Surgery Robot Will Board the ISS in 2024on August 4, 2022 at 6:47 am
Engineers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln have devised a robot that helps medical professionals conduct surgical procedures from afar. It might someday perform surgery in space.
- A robot playmate for children with newly diagnosed chronic illnesseson July 25, 2022 at 3:00 am
Sproutel, co-founded by Aaron Horowitz, creates products that promote behavior change and provide emotional support for children.
- Handing Off Control While Keeping the Human Engaged Is a Constant Challenge with Surgical Robotics, Says Industry Experton July 24, 2022 at 5:00 pm
from virtual fixtures to augmented reality assistance, to recognition of critical anatomy to either avoid or be careful around,” he said. His group is also working with the National Science Foundation ...
- Medicine and the metaverse: New tech allows doctors to travel inside of your bodyon July 24, 2022 at 1:10 am
My personal focus in the early 1990s was adding augmented reality and haptic feedback to ... the tiny swallowable robot could save time, money, and complexity, giving doctors a quick and easy ...
- ByteDance-backed warehouse robotics startup Syrius picks up $7Mon July 18, 2022 at 7:52 am
the mobile augmented reality project that Google initiated and later shut down; the other co-founder Luo Xuan worked on AMRs as a product management director at Alibaba Robotics, which should have ...
- Metaverse in Healthcare Market Size to Worth Around USD 75.8 Billion by 2030on July 16, 2022 at 5:00 pm
Augmented Reality, the Internet of Medical Devices, Web 3.0, intelligent cloud, edge and quantum computing, and robotics. With its goofy-looking headgear and sci-fi detours, the world of augmented ...
via Bing News
The Latest on: Augmented reality robotics
via Google News