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Robot with three fingers taught to collect Rubik’s cube

Ishikawa Senoo Laboratory / YouTube

Japanese engineers have created a robot with three fingers, who can collect Rubik’s cube. It is equipped with a high-frequency computer vision system that calculates the position of the center of mass of the cube at a frequency of 500 times per second, and also knows how to perform three types of finger movements, and it is able to perform all three types of contract in a second. IEEE Spectrum has paid attention to the development , the report will be presented at the IROS 2018 conference.

Engineers have been building robots for many years to assemble the Rubik’s cube and their development has long since overtaken people – the current record of the robotic assembly is 0.38 seconds, and among the people the best result was recently achieved by an Australian who collected a puzzle in 4.22 seconds. But the assembly principle used in these robots is noticeably different from how people solve the puzzle. As a rule, they use either motorized rods rigidly attached to the center of each side of the cube, or manipulators holding a cube from opposite sides.

In the new robot, developed by experts from the laboratory of Masatoshi Ishikawa (Tokyo University), another method is used to assemble the cube. Engineers equipped the robot with three fingers, each of which consists of two sections and driven by two motors. In addition, the base on which the fingers are located can deflect and allow the robot to turn the cube. In addition to this movement, the robot can turn one side of the cube and turn the entire cube. It is interesting that during the last movement the robot completely releases the cube for the time of rotation and catches it after turning to the desired angle.

Thanks to the use of dynamic movements, engineers managed to achieve a sufficiently high speed of the robot. He can perform all three movements in less than a second, and this speed is maintained even at large intervals of time – in ten seconds the robot manages to perform 30 motions.

Recently, a Japanese engineer created a robot to assemble a Rubik’s cube, but he  used an unusual approach for this – he built the motors and microcontrollers in the cube and taught him to assemble on his own.

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