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Robot Can Find Keys in a Bag by Listening as It Rummages

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Find the keys.

The robot proved equally successful at picking up all sorts of noisy objects, including keys, a bag of crisps and a cluster of pens. In comparison, it failed to locate a piece of cloth that made very little sound upon contact.

Credit: VanoVasaio/Shutterstock

Stanford University's Maximilian Du and colleagues have trained a microphone-outfitted robotic arm to locate objects like keys in a handbag by listening for telltale sounds while searching.

"That environment is basically like you reach down, you don't know where the keys are, but then once you hear the sound of the keys you can kind of localize it," Du said.

"And then by localizing, you can grab it out and lift it up."

The researchers trained the robot by having a person demonstrate the action through an Oculus virtual reality headset and controllers, while further human guidance corrected its actions.

Stanford's Olivia Lee said this enhanced performance 20%.

From New Scientist
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