The startup Realtime Robotics is helping robots solve the motion planning problem by giving them collision avoidance capabilities. Here, a robot avoids a researcher’s waving hand. (Credit: Realtime Robotics)

MIT startup Realtime Robotics invented a solution that gives robots the ability to quickly adjust their path to avoid objects as they move to a target. The Realtime controller can be connected to a variety of robots and deployed in dynamic environments.

The device uses a new type of computer chip with circuits specifically designed to perform the frequent collision tests required to move a robot safely through space. The custom circuits could perform operations in parallel to more efficiently test short motion collisions.