How Google Wants to Solve Robotic Grasping by Letting Robots Learn for Themselves
You are likely pretty good at picking things up. That’s nice. Part of the reason that you’re pretty good at picking things up is that when you were little, you spent a lot of time trying and failing to pick things up, and learning from your experiences. For roboticists who don’t want to wait through the equivalent of an entire robotic childhood, there are ways to streamline the process: at Google Research, they’ve set up more than a dozen robotic arms and let them work for months on picking up objects that are heavy, light, flat, large, small, rigid, soft, and translucent (although not all at once). We talk to the researchers about how their approach is unique, and why 800,000 grasps (!) is just the beginning.