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Robotic Arms Avoid Collision

Videos show a new program that lets robotic arms in a factory gracefully avoid each other.

Experimental software developed by Harris Corporation, an international communication equipment company, could help make robots less clumsy and dangerous.

The software allows a factory robot to sense and avoid objects while still moving quickly.

Harris Corporation engineer Paul Bosscher described the technology at last month’s 2009 IEEE’s Technologies for Practical Robot Applications conference in Woburn, MA.

The software creates a virtual “shell” around the robot’s arm, allowing it to avoid obstacles in combination with machine vision. Bosscher says the company has applied for a patent and may try to market the collision avoidance program to businesses.

The video below shows using the software to automatically avoid another robot:

In another clip, the robot avoids a red ball:

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