WAM Arm Robots Help Patients Get Dressed

Japan's Nara Institute of Science and Technology has created the world's first robot system that can help clothe elderly and physically disabled people. Barrett's contact-compliant robot arms follow the motions of a human caregiver; reinforcement learning takes only minutes.


(WAM Arm Robots Help)

Taking clothes on and off are essential activities in daily life, but for elderly and physically challenged people this can be difficult due to limited mobility in the upper limbs. At the same time, there is a key technical problem. Specifically, it's difficult to calculate the optimal robot motions for manipulating a soft, floppy material like clothing, while in contact with a person of unique shape and constantly changing posture.

In response, the group headed by Associate Professor Tomohiro Shibata developed a dual-arm robot system that can acquire clothing-assistance motions applicable with a small number of trials. This is accomplished by performing a trial-and-error search called "reinforcement learning" based on actual motions used for clothing assistance as demonstrated by a human being.

I was really struck by this comparison of human (organic biological systems) and robots:

According to the team's leader, Associate Professor Tomohiro Shibata of the Mathematical Informatics Laboratory, "Barrett's robots are unique in the world for their ability to react to subtle physical interactions, enabling our algorithms to learn to dress people." Barrett CEO Bill Townsend adds, "We are very impressed that Dr. Shibata's team has accomplished such a complex task. It takes an infant more than 10,000 hours of learning to master the motor skills of dressing. With this new application, robotic arms can learn to dress people in just minutes."

Philip K. Dick anticipated this development in his 1953 story The Impossible Planet, which featured the robant:

Behind Norton came a withered old woman. Beside her moved a gleaming robant, a towering robot servant, supporting her with his arm. The robant and the tiny old woman entered the control room slowly...

From Marketwire via Medgadget; see also the Barrett WAM robot site.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/20/2011)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

'We're Not Creating A Terminator' Say Russians About Gun-Wielding Robot Fedor
Nobody is thinking about the Terminator. Westworld, maybe.

Pooper Scooper Drone Robot Watchdog 1
'Robots pick up the garbage and junk...' - Harry Harrison, 1956.

Cassie Robot Brings AT-ST Walker To Life
There's even a log test!

Hundreds Of Robot Lawnmowers Invade Texas Town
'The mower reached the edge of the lawn, clucked to itself...' - Clifford Simak, 1944.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Cattle Avoidance Feature In Indian Autonomous Cars
'The driver went about the business of gently slipping the teflon-coated metal scoop beneath the first animal...'

Project KOVR Fashion Protection From Infosphere
'... the entire shroudlike membrane took on whatever physical characteristics were projected at any nanosecond.'

Twist Bioscience High Density Digital Data On DNA
'They tied the memory to the bloodline and that was their record!'

'We're Not Creating A Terminator' Say Russians About Gun-Wielding Robot Fedor
Nobody is thinking about the Terminator. Westworld, maybe.

Vantablack Now IMMEASURABLY Black
'a black coating now thatís ninety-nine percent absorptive...'

Mercedes-Benz Autonomous Taxi Fleet In 3 Years
'... the taxi utilized sophisticated electronic sensors to perceive its surroundings.'

Is 'The Pulsar Positioning System' Evidence For SETI?
'For a hyperspace jump, you need at least four beacons for an accurate fix.'

Someday, You Might Like VR Enough To Move In
'That barrier was going to melt away someday soon. The transhumanists had promised...'

Humans Use Mental Power For Turtle Slavery
Now we need to start looking for animals with fingers...

Solar-Powered Moisture Vaporator
'The atmosphere yielded its moisture with reluctance.'

DxtER! Tricorder Prize Won By Final Frontier Medical Devices
We've been waiting a long time for this, Star Trek fans.

President Trump's Wall As Otra Nation Hyperloop
'...an hollow tube must be constructed the whole distance... as to admit a four wheeled carriage...'

Pickup Lines From Artificial Intelligences
'They hate us, you know... The humans. They'll stop at nothing.'

Pooper Scooper Drone Robot Watchdog 1
'Robots pick up the garbage and junk...'

Cassie Robot Brings AT-ST Walker To Life
There's even a log test!

Hundreds Of Robot Lawnmowers Invade Texas Town
'The mower reached the edge of the lawn, clucked to itself...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.