A robot that can find hidden objects using radio waves


Developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the robot can detect and capture objects using radio waves, even if they are hidden.

A research team conducting studies on robotics has developed a robot that can detect and catch objects that are left behind and cannot be found. Developed by MIT researchers, the robot called RF-Grasp uses radio waves to detect objects.

Lost items can be found easily

Unlike visible light and infrared, RF (radio frequency) signals can pass behind cardboard boxes, walls, plastic covers and tinted glass to detect objects with RFID tags attached.

RF-Grasp uses both a camera and an RFID reader to locate an object and then capture it. The RF-Grasp has a handle and a grab handle. There is a camera on the wrist of the robot. The RFID reader stands independent of the robot and transfers the tracking information to the robot’s control algorithm. Thus, the robot constantly collects both RF tracking data and visual data of its surroundings. Thanks to these two complementary systems, RF-Grasp is able to locate and capture hidden objects on its own.

According to the researchers, RF Grasp can detect and capture the target object with about half the movement, compared to a similar robot equipped with only a camera.

The team says that this robot they built could revolutionize the world of e-commerce as it could help find packages and items that might not be easily noticed in warehouses in the future.

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