Skip to Content
Uncategorized

Amazon’s New Robo-Picker Champion Is Proudly Inhuman

July 31, 2017

Each year, Amazon gathers together researchers at a Robotics Challenge where machines must pick and stow objects. It’s a tough job, but one that could ultimately help the e-tailer to fully automate its warehouses. This year the task was made even harder than usual—teams had only 30 minutes to familiarize themselves with the objects, and had to pick them out of a jumble where items sometimes sat on top of others—to simulate warehouse conditions more realistically.

The winner, a robot called Cartman, was built by the Australian Centre for Robotic Vision. The device was one of the least human-like devices of all, with grippers moving in 3-D like a funfair claw crane. According to Dr Anton Milan, one of its creators, the device's computer visions systems were crucial to the victory. "One feature of our system was that it worked off a very small amount of hand annotated training data," he explained to TechAU. "We only needed just seven images of each unseen item for us to be able to detect them."

Keep Reading

Most Popular

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2024

Every year, we look for promising technologies poised to have a real impact on the world. Here are the advances that we think matter most right now.

Scientists are finding signals of long covid in blood. They could lead to new treatments.

Faults in a certain part of the immune system might be at the root of some long covid cases, new research suggests.

AI for everything: 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2024

Generative AI tools like ChatGPT reached mass adoption in record time, and reset the course of an entire industry.

OpenAI teases an amazing new generative video model called Sora

The firm is sharing Sora with a small group of safety testers but the rest of us will have to wait to learn more.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.