New simulator helps robots sharpen their reducing abilities

USC PhD scholar Eric Heiden, working with NVIDIA researchers, has created a brand new simulator for robotic reducing that may precisely reproduce the forces appearing on the knife because it presses and slices by way of frequent foodstuffs. Credit score: Eric Heiden/NVIDIA

Researchers from the College of Southern California (USC) Division of Pc Science and NVIDIA have unveiled a brand new simulator for robotic reducing that may precisely reproduce the forces appearing on a knife because it slices by way of frequent foodstuffs, reminiscent of fruit and greens. The system may additionally simulate reducing by way of human tissue, providing potential purposes in surgical robotics. The paper was introduced on the Robotics: Science and Programs (RSS) Convention 2021 on July 16, the place it acquired the Finest Pupil Paper Award.

Up to now, researchers have had hassle creating clever robots that replicate reducing. One problem: in the actual world, no two objects are the identical, and present robotic reducing techniques battle with variation. To beat this, the crew devised a singular method to simulate reducing by introducing springs between the 2 halves of the article being minimize, represented by a mesh. These springs are weakened over time in proportion to the drive exerted by the knife on the mesh.

“What makes ours a particular form of simulator is that it’s ‘differentiable,’ which implies that it will probably assist us robotically tune these simulation parameters from real-world measurements,” mentioned lead writer Eric Heiden, a Ph.D. in pc science scholar at USC. “That is essential as a result of closing this actuality hole is a big problem for roboticists at present. With out this, robots could by no means get away of simulation into the actual world.”







The crew devised a singular method to simulate reducing by introducing springs between the 2 halves of the article being minimize, represented by a mesh. Credit score: Eric Heiden/NVIDIA.

To switch abilities from simulation to actuality, the simulator should be capable to mannequin an actual system. In one of many experiments, the researchers used a dataset of drive profiles from a bodily robotic to provide extremely correct predictions of how the knife would transfer in actual life. Along with purposes within the meals processing trade, the place robots may take over harmful duties like repetitive reducing, the simulator may enhance drive haptic suggestions accuracy in surgical robots, serving to to information surgeons and stop damage.







Of their ongoing work, the crew is making use of the system to actual robotic reducing. Credit score: Eric Heiden/NVIDIA.

“Right here, it is very important have an correct mannequin of the reducing course of and to have the ability to realistically reproduce the forces appearing on the reducing device as completely different sorts of tissue are being minimize,” mentioned Heiden. “With our method, we’re capable of robotically tune our simulator to match such several types of materials and obtain extremely correct simulations of the drive profile.” In ongoing analysis, the crew is making use of the system to real-world robots.


Neuro-evolutionary robotics: A spot between simulation and actuality


Extra info:
The complete paper (open entry) and weblog publish can be found right here: diff-cutting-sim.github.io/

Supplied by
College of Southern California


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New simulator helps robots sharpen their reducing abilities (2021, July 22)
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