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Monday, July 13, 2020

Robots Manipulating Cables

Been at times responsible for cable rooms, and know of the messiness in manipulating cable.  Never thought of this being solved by robotics. In fact thought of it as a particularly difficult thing to do that way.   This particular example will be interesting to see, and what part of the problem it can address.

Letting robots manipulate cables
Robotic gripper with soft sensitive fingers developed at MIT CSAIL can handle cables with unprecedented dexterity.
Rachel Gordon | MIT CSAIL

For humans, it can be challenging to manipulate thin flexible objects like ropes, wires, or cables. But if these problems are hard for humans, they are nearly impossible for robots. As a cable slides between the fingers, its shape is constantly changing, and the robot’s fingers must be constantly sensing and adjusting the cable’s position and motion.
Standard approaches have used a series of slow and incremental deformations, as well as mechanical fixtures, to get the job done. Recently, a group of researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) pursued the task from a different angle, in a manner that more closely mimics us humans. The team’s new system uses a pair of soft robotic grippers with high-resolution tactile sensors (and no added mechanical constraints) to successfully manipulate freely moving cables.  ... " 

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