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Turning Robots into Skilled Waiters

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Illustration of a robot serving a drink.

The team fed the robot algebraic formulas dating back several centuries, basing their mathematics on a Moroccan tea tray that applies the principle of a spherical pendulum.


Researchers at Germany's Technical University of Munich (TUM) adopted the pendulum's underlying mathematics to develop a model that could improve robots' drinks-serving skills.

The researchers embedded the dynamics of a spherical pendulum into a robot arm's control software, which limits the machine's movements according to basic geometric principles.

They also incorporated the proper angles, speeds, and accelerations into the model.

As a result, TUM's Luis Figueredo said, the robot arm can grip, raise, and rock a glass filled to the brim with water without spilling a drop.

"And it does it faster and more safely than a person," Figueredo added.

From Technical University of Munich (Germany)
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Abstracts Copyright © 2023 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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