New partnership suggests robots could handle hazardous materials
A collaboration between two UK-based robotics companies could potentially have an impact on the safe handling of hazardous materials.
Extend Robotics and Shadow Robot, believe their combined technology could be applied to sectors where there is a need to handle hazardous materials, where a high degree of dexterity precision is crucial.
Testing dexterity of the robotic arm. ©Event Robotics
The firms recently carried out a virtual reality experiment around teleoperated robotic technology.
Advances are needed in terms of technology’s acumen around handling and dexterity, an area that Shadow Robot’s specialises in. “We found that one of the things that we were lacking was depth perception,” explained its TeleOp Technical Lead Ethan Fowler, “When you’re trying to do a remote task, being able to tell how far away things are and make the robot hand reach that position is extremely difficult.
“Extend Robotics has done a lot of work in improving those technologies – their volumetric streaming is something that looks extremely promising.”
Extend Robotics develop software that controls robot hardware with VR technology such as Oculus and Steam VR – two fairly accessible and affordable consumer brands. Dr Chang Liu, its Founder and CEO is confident the collaboration will bear fruit in an industry context. “This partnership will take the industry of remote robotic operations to the next level,” he said.
The collaboration is part of the Value of Joint Experimentation in Digital Technologies for Manufacturing and Construction (VOJEXT), a Horizon 2020 initiative that aims to provide user-friendly frameworks for collaborative robotics for its use in the needs of the manufacturing and construction industries.
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