A tech start-up in Brentwood has a cheap fix for 3D vision in industrial robots that may ultimately help robots learn to adapt to their surroundings. Universal Robotics is working to commercialize technology developed at Vanderbilt University.
Manufacturing robots and those used in distribution centers have the capability to see depth with pairs of highly sophisticated cameras. But marketing director Hob Wubbena says they can easily get knocked out of place. New software from Universal Robotics does the calibration instead of having to manually adjust the cameras.
“If you bump ‘em, we’ve got to do another three-hour calibration to get them right. It shifts it from that to, get you some cheap web cams and the software does all that.”
Wubbena says shifting the technology from the hardware to the software opens the door to taking robotic arms into more dangerous environments in place of humans. The company is testing the technology at the distribution center of an unnamed retailer in Middle Tennessee.
Universal’s 3D vision is a hint of the company’s signature technology which is still in development stage called Neocortex. It allows robots to learn from experiences and adapt to them.