Industrial Electronics

Video: This Robot Picks up the Garbage You Left Behind

24 September 2018

You’ve probably heard about the robotic dog named Spot from Boston Dynamics that can open doors and take abuse from its master. Many people have voiced concern about a robot that can help another robot through a door let alone open a door in the first place. This concern is due to, naturally, Skynet and the eventual takeover of the world by robot overlords.

Well, Spot now has some competition in the form of ALMA — ETH Zurich’s Articulated Locomotion and Manipulation robot that is a hybrid of its ANYmal quadrupedal robot that we last saw dancing to music and shaking its booty.

ALMA is a torque-controlled quadrupedal robot equipped with a six-degrees-of-freedom robotic arm capable of performing dynamic locomotion while doing tasks.

In the video, ALMA opens a door with the robot arm and then slowly begins to walk through it. However, the operator continues to shove and knock the robot in order to throw it off balance or get it to stop performing the action. The robot is seen simply adjusting itself to continue its task. Later, it picks up a random piece of trash in a field and places it in a waste bin. ALMA then helps a human carry a heavy object showing how it can be used in industrial spaces as a helper robot.

ETH Zurich said the robot is based on a hierarchical optimization algorithm that enables it to walk, trot and pace while doing tasks such as fixed-position end-effector control, reactive human-robot collaboration and torso posture optimization to increase the arm’s reachability.

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