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12 December, 2018 - 01:45 By Kate Sweeney

Cambridge University team wins award at Tokyo robotics showcase

A Cambridge University team that has created a robotic manipulation platform called CambridgeARM won a Special Innovation Award at the World Robot Summit 2018 in Tokyo.

Engineering PhD students Josie Hughes, Luca Scimeca, Kieran Gilday and undergraduate Soham Garg – from the Department’s Biologically Inspired Robotics Lab – won the accolade for their novel approach to robotic manipulation. 

This approach involved the use of grease and a reusable putty-like adhesive to enable complex manipulation solutions. The grease allowed Allen keys to achieve a non-permanent hold of bolts, and putty was used to pick up single items, such as a washer, from a box of parts.

A webcam and Kinect is used for the vision system. The combined visual and depth information allows the objects to be identified and the correct grasping points identified.

The goal of the project is to develop a robotics pick and place system which allows objects to be identified using vision systems, picked and then placed on a shelf and then the reverse operation performed. 

The overall aim of the project is to compete in the Amazon Robotics Challenge.  

Cambridge superchip architect Arm sponsored the project for the Cambridge quartet.

In Tokyo, the Cambridge team competed against 16 groups from around the world and were awarded second place in the Kitting and Adaptive Assembly challenges, set as part of the Industrial Robotics Category. 

Josie Hughes said: “Competing in the World Robot Summit was a fantastic opportunity to test CambridgeARM against robots from other world-class research teams. Our approach was innovative and truly adaptive.”

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