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Robot Finds Lost Items


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The robotic arm (right) seeks keys with an RF tag affixed, hidden beneath other items.

The RFusion system combines signals from an RF antenna with visual input from a camera to locate and retrieve an item, even if it is buried under a pile and completely out of view.

Credit: MIT News

A robotic arm created by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers can track down lost items using a camera and radio frequency (RF) antenna attached to its gripper.

The RFusion prototype combines antenna signals and camera images to locate misplaced items, even when buried under a pile and completely hidden.

The arm relies on RF identification tags that can be attached to items and reflect antenna-emitted signals, which can travel through most surfaces.

The robotic arm employs machine learning to automatically home in on the object's location, move the items covering it, gripsthe object, and confirm that it grasped the correct item.

MIT's Fadel Adib said, "Right now, you can think of this as a Roomba on steroids, but in the near term, this could have a lot of applications in manufacturing and warehouse environments."

From MIT News
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