Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo

 

Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

{ action.text }

Calculated grabs: A sensor lets the system detect the direction of approach; the software then calculates the most effective grasping positions.

“I believe it’s the way forward for automated grasping,” adds Eric Berger, the codirector of the personal robotics program at Willow Garage, a robotics research center in California. “From my perspective, the algorithmic work … is novel and useful, but the most exciting thing about what they’re doing is the different approaches they’re taking to applying these new algorithms to the real world.”

In their experiments, the Columbia team preprogrammed the system with a rough idea of the shape of the object it would grab. The next step is to couple the robotic grasper to a system that can evaluate completely unfamiliar objects in the real world.

Other research groups are making progress in this area. For example, Intel has created technology that uses electric fields to carefully sense delicate objects within reach, while Andrew Ng and colleagues at Stanford University have developed a robot that can calculate the best place to grab onto an object that it hasn’t seen before.

7 comments. Share your thoughts »

Credits: Matei Ciocarlie and Peter Allen, Dept. of Computer Science, Columbia University
Video by Matei Ciocarlie and Peter Allen, Dept. of Computer Science, Columbia University

Tagged: Computing, robotics, robots, robotic hand, grasping

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives

Close

Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me