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Simulator Helps Robots Sharpen Their Cutting Skills

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A robot practices cutting.

The new simulator can automatically tune simulation parameters from real-world measurements.

Credit: Eric Heiden/NVIDIA

A new robotic cutting simulator developed by researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) and NVIDIA replicates the forces acting on a knife slicing through foods.

To simulate cutting, the researchers put springs between the two halves of the object being cut, represented by mesh; over time, the springs are weakened proportionate to the force exerted by the knife on the mesh.

The simulator could pave the way for the use of robots in the food processing industry or in the operating room.

USC's Eric Heiden said, "It is important to have an accurate model of the cutting process and to be able to realistically reproduce the forces acting on the cutting tool as different kinds of tissue are being cut. With our approach, we are able to automatically tune our simulator to match different types of material and achieve highly accurate simulations of the force profile."

From University of Southern California
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