Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Amazon's Newest Robo Designed Like Arcade Crane Claw Machine #Science #Robotics

A claw crane game machine with unicorn plushes in Trouville, France

Every kid has had his or her heart broken by the arcade crane claw machine at one time or another.  The unicorn will still be there tomorrow, kid, but bring some more euros and try your skill again.

You really haven't passed all the tests of childhood until you have had your dreams crushed by an arcane crane claw.

Consider, if you will, the latest robo presented to Amazon to satisfy their automated shipping requirements.  The claw is a little difficult to see but the concept is generally the same as the crane claw in the arcade.

The Australian Centre for Robotic Vision team contesting the Amazon Robotics Challenge.

Credit: Anthony Weate, QUT

"We opted to build our own robot from scratch - a three-axis Cartesian robot that acts much like a gantry crane you see at ports. With six degrees of articulation and both a claw and suction gripper, CartMan gives us more flexibility to complete the tasks than an off-the-shelf robot can offer."

Built by a team of roboticists from the Australian Centre for Robotic Vision (the Centre), headquartered at QUT, 'CartMan' the logistics robot will pit its item-picking skills against 15 other international robots in the third annual Amazon Robotics Challenge, part of RoboCup 2017 in Nagoya, Japan, on Thursday 27 July.

And with a prize pool of US$250,000 for teams that successfully complete the task of picking and stowing objects from a storage system, team leader Dr Juxi Leitner said competition will be fierce.  Will this Aussie robot be Amazon's 'pick' of the bunch?

The most interesting aspect to this for the Rockhouse is Amazon is using, in effect, an open source approach to solving the tech problems associated with their design and offering a cash prize for success has served well as an incentive for long back into history.  There's another one in play in a different field since there's a prize of about a million dollars to be first back to the Moon again.

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