MIT Scientists Invent Robotic Arm That Can Find Lost Items: RFID and Search System, Features and More
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) recently developed a robotic arm that can detect non-existent objects. It can easily find keys, passports, library books, cards and other items that are easy to miss in the house. Scientists also share their great RFusion Robot plans.
Many may experience the experience of losing their car keys before work – putting it in the wrong place and not knowing where to start looking. Worse yet, the house may be full of rubble. Finding a three-inch key in the middle of all that dirt is impossible, especially if you are in a hurry.
Recently, though, researchers have developed a robot that can do just that. In just a few minutes, he can detect the keys automatically and hold them in the pile.
RFusion, an abridged version of Robotic Grasping with RF-Visual Sensing and Learning, is the proud work of Tara Boroushaki, Isaac Perper, Mergen Nachin, Alberto Rodriguez and Fadel Adib.
MIT Robotic Arm: RFID Search System
RFusion’s amazing capabilities include two pieces of technology: its robotic arm-mounted robot and a radio frequency antenna.
To summarize, RFusion uses its stick to search for objects with a radio-frequency identification mark (RFID). When found, the robot arm will gently filter through any obstacles and catch the missing object.
RFusion makes full use of cheap and battery-free RFID chips. These are already available in passports, contact cards, library books and even the Oyster system used for public transport in London. Finally, airlines may also use them to track cargo, and merchants may use them to prevent shoplifting.
The Daily Mail described the technology behind RFusion. For reference, consider the missing car keys under a pile of dirty clothes.
RFusion starts by sending signals to a nearby pile of dirty clothes. The keys marked with RFID then return the robot signal.
RFusion then created a circular area near the target. It uses its camera to detect any obstacles along the way and removes them using its robotic arm. RFusion then continues with this step until it picks up the marked object.
Fadel Adib, an associate professor at MIT, said, “The idea of being able to find things in a troubled world is an open challenge we have been working on for a number of years.
Happy Power: Robot Arm Future Plans
RFusion researchers say they plan to upgrade the robot to be used in other applications. They hope that one day, the RFusion program could work on arranging for bulk storage, identification and installation of vehicle parts, assisting people with their daily activities and other related tasks.
Researchers are still developing the RFusion system and algorithm to study its environment. With their fast-paced programs, researchers are trying to speed up the robot by making it move faster when it picks up a target.