Search
Close this search box.

We are creating some awesome events for you. Kindly bear with us.

Utilising motion capture tech to enhance robotic performance

Photo Credit: Queensland University of Technology

A simulator, which trains robots, must first be trained by the robot that it is required to train.

While this seems like a conundrum, a Queensland University of Technology PhD researcher is solving it using motion capture technology to enhance robotic performance.

According to a recent press release, the PhD researcher’s work is in the realm of ‘sim2real’, which aims to overcome a phenomenon called the ‘reality gap’.

Reality gap explained

Reality gap may be better explained through an example. For instance, a robot in simulation is taught how to pour drinks into glasses.

In simulation, the robot may be able to perform the task 100% of the time. However, when this behaviour is transferred to a real robot, it may only be successful 70% of the time.

This means that the real robot, upon learning the new skill, does not perform the skill as successfully as when in the simulator.

Improving real-world performance

The PhD researcher is looking at how the real-world performance of the robot can be improved so that it can be comparable to that of the simulator.

He is being supervised by researchers from the University as well as a researcher from CSIRO’s Data61, the data and digital specialist arm of Australia’s national science agency.

According to the PhD researcher, they are trying to quantify the difference between the simulators and real-world using motion capture.

This information can be used to improve the areas where simulators fail.

How is it done?

He records a robot doing tasks in the real world and then investigates how to mirror this in simulators.

The Kinova Mico2, which is a robot arm with six joints and three-fingered gripper equipped with a Robotiq FT300 force sensor, is used to perceive when it pushes on something.

The arm is used in research and in assistive applications because of a plethora of reasons. These are:

  1. Comparatively cheap
  2. Lightweight
  3. Operates using mains power
  4. Safe for interaction with people

The motion capture is used as a real-world ground truth, which they compare to the simulation.

Reflective markers, which are placed on the arm, track the movement of those markers in 3D space to a precision of less than one millimetre.

They record the robot as it performs a range of tasks such as movements of the arm, the arm interacting with objects, and the arm picking up and stacking objects.

After which, the exact same movements are done in simulation as they try to tune the simulator to mirror what they witnessed in the real world.

Overcoming the reality gap and teaching robots in simulation, rather than the in real world, have several benefits. These are:

  1. Teaching robots in simulation is safer
  2. It avoids breaking or damaging real robots
  3. Running simulations is faster than the real-world
  4. Robots, which they normally do not have access to in the real world, can be used in a simulation

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

As a Titanium Black Partner of Dell Technologies, CTC Global Singapore boasts unparalleled access to resources.

Established in 1972, we bring 52 years of experience to the table, solidifying our position as a leading IT solutions provider in Singapore. With over 300 qualified IT professionals, we are dedicated to delivering integrated solutions that empower your organization in key areas such as Automation & AI, Cyber Security, App Modernization & Data Analytics, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Renowned for our consulting expertise and delivering expert IT solutions, CTC Global Singapore has become the preferred IT outsourcing partner for businesses across Singapore.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.