Sec­ond­Hands A.I. (machine learn­ing)

From : Wired​.com

An ambi­tious robot­ics project that com­bines arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence, machine learn­ing and advanced sen­sors to under­stand and assist humans in real time could be truly “rev­o­lu­tion­ary”, accord­ing to the team work­ing on it. The Sec­ond­Hands humanoid, being devel­oped for online super­mar­ket Ocado, could soon be help­ing fac­tory engi­neers fix mechan­i­cal faults and even learn on the job.

The robot will be com­pletely autonomous and should be able to help with every­thing from fetch­ing tools to hold­ing objects and even assist­ing with clean­ing and engi­neer­ing tasks. The project is a col­lab­o­ra­tion between the tech­nol­ogy arm of the online super­mar­ket and four uni­ver­si­ties across the Euro­pean Union. The robot­ics team at Ocado Tech­nol­ogy believe it could become “the most advanced assis­tive robot in the world”.



Sec­ond­Hands will use 3D vision to see both depth and colour, with arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence allow­ing it to learn by exam­ple and respond to its sur­round­ings. Once trained in a series of basic tasks the robot should be able to increase its own intel­li­gence and act inde­pen­dently. Sec­ond­Hands will also be able to under­stand nat­ural speech, allow­ing it to respond to voice com­mands.

“We want our tech­ni­cians to be able to rely on these robots“
Gra­ham Dea­con, robot­ics research team leader, Ocado Tech­nol­ogy

In order to oper­ate in a fac­tory designed for humans Sec­ond­Hands will be based heav­ily on human mor­phol­ogy. Early ver­sions might oper­ate on wheels, but in the future the robot could move on tank tracks or even legs. It could also have extra abil­i­ties such as tele­scopic arms to make it more use­ful as an assis­tant. The robot will be flex­i­ble enough to work eas­ily along­side humans, with torque-​controlled arms, anthro­po­mor­phic hands and a bend­able torso.

The robot will even­tu­ally be put to work along­side engi­neers at Ocado’s vast logis­tics fac­to­ries in the UK, which han­dle more than 167,000 orders per week. When some­thing goes wrong with a mechan­i­cal com­po­nent Sec­ond­Hands will help engi­neers carry out repairs quickly and safely. It could also oper­ate in areas too dan­ger­ous for humans, exam­in­ing high-​speed con­vey­ors at close quar­ters and han­dling toxic mate­ri­als. The EU is fund­ing the project to the tune of €7m (£5.1m) as part of its Horizon2020 ini­tia­tive to encour­age researchers to work more closely with indus­try part­ners. As well as coor­di­nat­ing and con­tribut­ing to the research Ocado will also be the end user, with the robots designed specif­i­cally for its fac­to­ries. If the project is suc­cess­ful the team at Ocado are hope­ful it will find uses else­where.

The first Sec­ond­Hands pro­to­type will be oper­a­tional at an Ocado test­ing facil­ity in 18 months time and it is hoped the final ver­sion will be assist­ing engi­neers in fac­to­ries in 2020. Unlike cur­rent col­lab­o­ra­tive and assis­tive robots, such as those com­pet­ing in the recent Darpa chal­lenge, Ocado says Sec­ond­Hands will work just as quickly as a human.
Sec­ond­Hands
Sec­ond­Hands

The robot will use arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence, machine learn­ing and advanced sen­sors to assist engi­neers autonomously

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