AI News, Don't want to lose a finger? Let a robot give a hand

Don't want to lose a finger? Let a robot give a hand

In an effort to minimize injury and let carpenters focus on design and other bigger-picture tasks, a team from MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) has created AutoSaw, a system that lets you customize different items that can then be constructed with the help of robots.

Users can choose from a range of carpenter-designed templates for chairs, desks and other furniture -- and eventually could use AutoSaw for projects as large as a deck or a porch.

'If you're building a deck, you have to cut large sections of lumber to length, and that's often done on site,' says CSAIL postdoc Jeffrey Lipton, who was a lead author on a related paper about the system.

The system also gives general users more flexibility in designing furniture to be able to fit space-constrained houses and apartments.

'Robots have already enabled mass production, but with artificial intelligence (AI) they have the potential to enable mass customization and personalization in almost everything we produce,' says CSAIL director and co-author Daniela Rus.

To cut lumber the team used motion tracking software and small mobile robots -- an approach that takes up less space and is more cost-effective than large robotic arms.

'There have been many recent AI achievements in virtual environments, like playing Go and composing music,' says Hod Lipson, a professor of mechanical engineering and data science at Columbia University.

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