Saturday July 20, 2019
Home Lead Story New Tool may ...

New Tool may Help Humans and Robots Work Together in Close Proximity

This algorithm builds in components that help a robot understand and monitor stops and overlaps in movement

0
//
hackers, AI
In this method, instructions are given to the companies staff members to perform transactions such as money transfers, as well as malicious activity on the company's network. Pixabay

A team of researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has developed an algorithm that accurately tells robots where nearby humans are headed – a discovery that may help humans and robots work together in close proximity.

Researchers at MIT and the auto manufacturer BMW have been testing ways since last year in which humans and robots might work in close proximity to assemble car parts.

Members of that same MIT team applied the new algorithm to the BMW factory floor experiments and found that instead of freezing in place, the robot simply rolled on and was safely out of the way by the time the person walked by again.

“This algorithm builds in components that help a robot understand and monitor stops and overlaps in movement — a core part of human motion,” said Julie Shah, associate professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT.

Tool, Humans, Robots
A team of researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has developed an algorithm that accurately tells robots where nearby humans are headed. Pixabay

“This technique is one of the many way we’re working on robots better understanding people,” she added.

Shah and her colleagues, including project lead and graduate student Przemyslaw “Pem” Lasota, are set to present their results at the “Robotics: Science and Systems” conference in Germany this month.

Existing algorithms typically take in streaming motion data, in the form of dots representing the position of a person over time, and compare the trajectory of those dots to a library of common trajectories for the given scenario.

An algorithm maps a trajectory in terms of the relative distance between dots.

According to Lasota, algorithms that predict trajectories based on distance alone can get easily confused in certain common situations, such as temporary stops, in which a person pauses before continuing on their path.

While paused, dots representing the person’s position can bunch up in the same spot.

As a solution, Lasota and Shah devised a “partial trajectory” algorithm that aligns segments of a person’s trajectory in real-time with a library of previously collected reference trajectories.

Importantly, the new algorithm aligns trajectories in both distance and timing, and in so doing, is able to accurately anticipate stops and overlaps in a person’s path.

Tool, Humans, Robots
Researchers at MIT and the auto manufacturer BMW have been testing ways since last year in which humans and robots might work in close proximity. Pixabay

The team tested the algorithm on two human motion datasets: one in which a person intermittently crossed a robot’s path in a factory setting and another in which the group previously recorded hand movements of participants reaching across a table to install a bolt that a robot would then secure by brushing sealant on the bolt.

“This technique could apply to any environment where humans exhibit typical patterns of behaviour,” said Shah. (IANS)

Next Story

Chinese Scientists to Start Testing Long-lasting HIV Vaccine on Humans

There are nearly 1.25 million HIV-positive patients in China, where around 80,000 people contract the disease every year, according to the National Health Commission

0
sexually transmitted disease
A nurse takes blood from a man for a free HIV test on a bus in Tehran, Dec. 16, 2015. VOA

A group of Chinese scientists will start trialing a long-lasting human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) vaccine on 160 volunteers, the first time that such a vaccine has reached a second-phase human trial, the official newspaper China Daily reported on Friday.

The candidate vaccine, known as DNA-rTV, relies on replication of the virus’ DNA to stimulate “effective immunization” against the virus, said Shao Yiming, an HIV researcher at the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to Shao, this vaccine — similar to the one used to prevent smallpox — is the first to undergo a second-phase human trial.

“With significant reduction of virulence, the vaccine will not cause infection in healthy receivers,” Shao was quoted as saying by Efe news.

Moreover, the vaccine being developed does not contain all segments of the virus but some parts of its genetic material, so that the chances of infection are significantly reduced, the report said.

The DNA of the virus will continue replicating after vaccination, thereby stimulating the immune system continuously to produce antibodies, a similar process to the one used by vaccines for other diseases.

HIV
Nearly 40 individual HPV types linked to HIV infection. Pixabay

Most of the HIV vaccines being developed in China and around the world are inactivated vaccines, which do not contain HIV DNA that can replicate, so their effect is not long-lasting.

The first phase of testing, started in 2007, proved the “safety” of the vaccine while the second phase will serve to determine the vaccination procedure to be followed in the future, Shao said.

“Hopefully, the second-phase trial will be completed in the latter half of 2021, and the third-phase clinical trial may start at the end of that year, which will involve thousands of volunteers in a trial to test the effectiveness of the vaccine to protect people against HIV,” he added.

Also Read: Cigarette Butts Significantly Reduce Plant Growth, Find Researchers

The research group has already recruited over 130 volunteers and initial work has begun in two Chinese hospitals, one in Beijing and another in Hangzhou in eastern China.

Chuang Chuang, head of Hangzhou Sunflower, a non-profit promoting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights, told China Daily that over 100 volunteers had already registered with the organization after coming to know about the second phase.

There are nearly 1.25 million HIV-positive patients in China, where around 80,000 people contract the disease every year, according to the National Health Commission. (IANS)