MIT computer scientists Leslie Kaelbling and Tomás Lozano-Pérez use a Willow Garage PR2 robot to demonstrate their new approach for integrating task and motion planning in robots. The researchers say their algorithm is very much still a work in progress, as can be seen in this video (sped up four times), which shows a robot picking up a can and a box and moving them to opposite ends of a tabletop. Sometimes, the robot does not reach perfectly for the target object and ends up knocking it slightly one way or the other. However, according to the researchers, it is the robot's ability to adapt to the new situation and make another attempt that is a crucial feature of their program. The robot sometimes performs extraneous movements — for example, when it waves an object back and forth a few times before setting it down in its target location. And yet, using the hierarchical "in the now" approach, the bot is still able to get the job done.
Video: Leslie Kaelbling/Tomás Lozano-Pérez
Tagged under: MIT,CSAIL,robotics,MIT News Office,Technology,computer,math
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