Two-fingered Sucking Robot Wins Amazon Tech Award

By Gary Cutlack on at

Amazon's openly soliciting designs for a robot with advanced fingering and sucking techniques, but it's OK, it's not making an early move into the VR porn controller world. It's after something that can replace complaining humans and their boring need to go pee-pee and poo-poo on work time and enhance the job of picking things off warehouse shelves and sending them out to the likes of us.

This year's Amazon Picking Challenge competition was won by a machine entered by a group of tech enthusiasts and students calling themselves Team Delft, and was part of the RoboCup 16 festivities, The challenge is simple -- robots need to identify items from a bin full of stuff, finding the things required and packaging them up and avoiding incurring penalty points for damaging items.

Team Delft's machine was one of 16 finalists in the 2016 Picking Challenge, and features an arm with seven degrees of freedom, 3D cameras for lining up its fingers, and gripping claws developed by the university team's own specialists. It's all powered by the Robot Operating System for Industry, which will be released as the open source ROS-Industrial standard -- so it won't even cost anything for Amazon to implement its future robot workforce.

Next step is to set up an arm wrestle with Google. [BBC via Cnet]

Image credit: Team Delft

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