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New simulator helps robots sharpen their chopping abilities


New simulator helps robots sharpen their cutting skills
USC PhD scholar Eric Heiden, working with NVIDIA researchers, has created a brand new simulator for robotic chopping that may precisely reproduce the forces appearing on the knife because it presses and slices via frequent foodstuffs. Credit score: Eric Heiden/NVIDIA

Researchers from the College of Southern California (USC) Division of Laptop Science and NVIDIA have unveiled a brand new simulator for robotic chopping that may precisely reproduce the forces appearing on a knife because it slices via frequent foodstuffs, corresponding to fruit and greens. The system might additionally simulate chopping via human tissue, providing potential functions in surgical robotics. The paper was offered on the Robotics: Science and Techniques (RSS) Convention 2021 on July 16, the place it obtained the Finest Scholar Paper Award.

Up to now, researchers have had bother creating clever robots that replicate chopping. One problem: in the actual world, no two objects are the identical, and present robotic chopping methods wrestle with variation. To beat this, the group devised a singular strategy to simulate chopping by introducing springs between the 2 halves of the thing being minimize, represented by a mesh. These springs are weakened over time in proportion to the drive exerted by the knife on the mesh.

“What makes ours a particular form of simulator is that it’s ‘differentiable,’ which implies that it might assist us routinely tune these simulation parameters from real-world measurements,” mentioned lead writer Eric Heiden, a Ph.D. in laptop science scholar at USC. “That is necessary as a result of closing this actuality hole is a big problem for roboticists at the moment. With out this, robots could by no means escape of simulation into the actual world.”







The group devised a singular strategy to simulate chopping by introducing springs between the 2 halves of the thing being minimize, represented by a mesh. Credit score: Eric Heiden/NVIDIA.

To switch abilities from simulation to actuality, the simulator should be capable to mannequin an actual system. In one of many experiments, the researchers used a dataset of drive profiles from a bodily robotic to supply extremely correct predictions of how the knife would transfer in actual life. Along with functions within the meals processing trade, the place robots might take over harmful duties like repetitive chopping, the simulator might enhance drive haptic suggestions accuracy in surgical robots, serving to to information surgeons and stop harm.







Of their ongoing work, the group is making use of the system to actual robotic chopping. Credit score: Eric Heiden/NVIDIA.

“Right here, it is very important have an correct mannequin of the chopping course of and to have the ability to realistically reproduce the forces appearing on the chopping software as totally different sorts of tissue are being minimize,” mentioned Heiden. “With our strategy, we’re capable of routinely tune our simulator to match such various kinds of materials and obtain extremely correct simulations of the drive profile.” In ongoing analysis, the group is making use of the system to real-world robots.


Neuro-evolutionary robotics: A niche between simulation and actuality


Extra data:
The complete paper (open entry) and weblog put up can be found right here: diff-cutting-sim.github.io/

Offered by
College of Southern California


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New simulator helps robots sharpen their chopping abilities (2021, July 22)
retrieved 22 July 2021
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