Robots are now able to intelligently maneuver within clutter, gently making contact with objects while accomplishing a task. The new control method has wide applications, ranging from robots for search-and-rescue operations to assistive robotics for people with disabilities.
The control method works in tandem with compliant robotic joints and whole-arm tactile sensing. The technology keeps the robot’s arm flexible and gives the robot a sense of touch across its entire arm.
The robots have performed numerous tasks, such as reaching through dense artificial foliage and a cinder block representative of environments that search-and-rescue robots can encounter.