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Collaborative robots learning to work with people

Panasonic develops control technology based on human movements

An image from a demonstration test in which a robot moves to the right and puts down the object it was carrying when it detects a person approaching from the left. (Courtesy of Panasonic)

OSAKA -- Panasonic has developed control technology for so-called collaborative-type robots that can undertake work such as carrying baggage in cooperation with humans.

With the new technology, 1,000 kinds of human movements were first registered so that robots can predict how humans will move and respond flexibly, thereby being able to dodge or otherwise avoid accidents. For example, a robotic arm that carries baggage will place it in a safe place and stop when a person approaches. When the person grabs the bag, the robot will sense the force being used and automatically change the movement of its joints to pose no danger to the person.

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