Toyota Teaches Robots to Deal With Transparent and Reflective Objects

liu, tempo Date: 2021-09-23 09:40:28 From:pcmag
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The most common robot found in homes today is probably a robot vacuum, but in the future we could see robots in control of most household chores. They need to understand how to deal with transparent objectd first, though, and Toyota just solved that problem.


The Toyota Research Institute (TRI) has just unveiled a new robotics system that’s focused on “solving complex tasks in home environments.” The main problem TRI managed to overcome was allowing robots to interact with transparent and reflective objects, be that a clear glass tumbler or a glass surface such as a table or window. But how did they do it?


Toyota Research Institute


“To overcome this, TRI roboticists developed a novel training method to perceive the 3D geometry of the scene while also detecting objects and surfaces,” said Max Bajracharya, vice president of robotics at TRI. “This combination enables researchers to use large amounts of synthetic data to train the system.”


The robots rely on synthetic data “to recreate and learn from past failures,” which should mean they continue to improve the more they are used. This is especially important for consumer robots because, as Bajracharya points out, “Training robots to understand how to operate in home environments poses special challenges because of the diversity and complexity of our homes where small tasks can add up to big challenges.”

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