Robot Roundup

Two-arm robot: Helps you put your shirt on

John Moe Nov 2, 2011

If you have trouble putting on your shirt, meet this robot.

From IEEE Spectrum:

A cross-laboratory team led by Tomohiro Shibata and Takamitsu Matsubara developed a two-arm robot to slide a shirt over and onto a person’s head and torso. Since a person’s neck or arms may not be in the exact same position each time, a scripted movement could potentially cause distress.

Enter the team’s reinforcement learning approach. Just like a child learning through experience, the robot is taught once how to clothe a human user, and then is given several attempts to put the shirt on by itself. The success is measured with motion capture system at the end of each trial, which lasts about 10 seconds.

In the video, you can see how the robot has learned how to place a shirt after three learning trials.

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