AI News, Robots With Knives: A Study of Soft-Tissue Injury in Robotics

Robots With Knives: A Study of Soft-Tissue Injury in Robotics

To find out what would happen if a robot holding a sharp tool accidentally struck a person, German researchers performed a series of stabbing, puncturing, and cutting experiments.

They fitted an articulated robotic arm with various tools (scalpel, kitchen knife, scissors, steak knife, screwdriver)and programmed it to execute different striking maneuvers.

We applaud the man in the video getting his arm struck by the robotin the name of science [UPDATE:That’sSami Haddadin, the study’s lead author, who was clearly confident in the safety system he and his colleagues devised].

“The collision detection and reaction,” Haddadin told me, “is based on a very good dynamics model of the robot and the fact that, unlike other robots, we have torque sensors and position sensors in every joint.” With the dynamics model (which includes rigid body dynamics, joint elasticity, and motor behavior) and the sensor measurements, the robot can detect a collision nearly instantaneously.

(The control system relies on a “nonlinear disturbance observer.”) “This method does not require any additional external sensors and only relies on the internal capabilities of the robot,”Haddadin says.

Are robots with knives around humans a good idea?

This article might be interesting for all of our readers concerned about their security around aiding robots.  German researchers performed a series of stabbing, puncturing, and cutting experiments in order to understand the biomechanics of soft-tissue injury as well as to test a robot internal collision-detection system that could prevent or at least minimize injury.

They fitted its articulated robotic arm with various tools (scalpel, kitchen knife, scissors, steak knife, and screwdriver) and programmed it to execute different striking maneuvers.

With the dynamics model (which includes rigid body dynamics, joint elasticity, and motor model) and the sensor measurements, the robot can detect a collision nearly instantaneously.

It is a good step toward research of safety systems which would enable integration of safe robots capable to handle various tools without the risk of injuring humans in its surroundings.

Video: In Pioneering Study, German Robots Given the Chance to Stab Humans

Robots run amok have occasionally maimed or killed industrial workers, giving German researchers cause to wonder about a future where humans host robots in every home.

In their study, the BBC reports, a robot arm was programmed to strike, stab and puncture using an array of household tools that included a steak knife, kitchen knife, scissors and screwdriver.

The collision detection system used torque sensors to spot when it hits a different substance and freeze in mid-motion, so that damage to the human subjects was limited.

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