AsianScientist (Nov. 4, 2019) – Eureka Robotics, a robotics technology start-up from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore), has unveiled a new robot that can pick up delicate optical lenses and mirrors with care and precision, just like a human hand.
Named Archimedes, the robot has a six-axis robot arm controlled by algorithms that use artificial intelligence (AI) to plan its motion and how much force to exert in its grip to create a system that can mimic the dexterity of human fingers and the visual acuity of human eyes.
Used to slot lenses and mirrors of different sizes into a custom loading tray to get them ready for coating, the invention will help automate processes for manufacturers of optical products such as cameras, medical imaging and eyewear, eliminating defects in production and improving productivity.
NTU Associate Professor Pham Quang Cuong, who founded the spin-off company Eureka Robotics, noted that their robot is different from other robots currently used in the industry, which have either high accuracy but low agility (where robots perform the same movements repeatedly), or low accuracy but high agility (such as robots handling packages of different sizes in logistics).
“With Archimedes, we have taken accuracy to the tens-of-micron level,” said Pham. “Its accuracy of placing objects is within a tenth of a millimeter, yet it does so with the gentleness of a human touch, made possible by our control algorithms.”
While Archimedes also takes a few hours to slot delicate optics into a designated tray just like a human operator, the operator can now focus on higher-level tasks after taking three minutes to start the robot on its job. The robot will also enable manufacturers to collect real-time data, which can be analysed to improve their production processes.
“Archimedes does laborious and repetitive tasks, so humans can be freed up to do more creative and meaningful work. Companies can then improve productivity, efficiency, work safety, manufacturing outputs, while optimising labour,” added Pham.
Source: Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Photo: Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
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