We’ve all seen those viral videos in social media with people stacking irregularly shaped rocks on top of each other, and I’m sure everyone who’s seen it was just as amazed as I was. So, in this video post, we show you exactly that stone stacking ability but this time instead of a human doing it, we present you an autonomous robot performing the trick.
A team of researchers at ETH Zurich built the robot that will be exhibited at the 2017 International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Singapore. From the video, you can see how the simulation on the bottom left searches for the stone first then the real robot arm automatically knows what to do. The stone stacking search method is performed in a technique called Stochastic Gradient Descent (SGD) that is implemented using a physics engine.
It’s incredible how calm and composed this autonomous robot as it carries out the stone stacking task. On its first few attempts, the robot fails to stack the last stone successfully but after some trial stacks, it eventually managed to arrange the set without dropping any of the stones. A total of 11 consecutive trials were conducted to validate the SGD method with the help of the robot manipulator. The whole stone stacking trial was done without the use of mortars and adhesives.
Well, hopefully, the autonomous robot is excited to exhibit its unique abilities in the conference as it will surely stand out from its other contemporaries.