A new Kickstarter-backed project is making headlines by showing off a small robotic arm that has the ability to completely mimic the motions of your hand, without any coding at all.
When you think about robots, the first thing that comes to your mind is a vision of a skeletal-metal human-shaped object, that can move about like a normal human being, a “Terminator” more like! But when a programmer or an engineer thinks about the task of actually creating one, they think about the thousands of lines of codes and the hundreds of work hours that it would take to even get close to that finished product! So you can understand our excitement at the prospect of 7Bot Arm, a simple robotic arm that has been garnering much attention since it made its debut on Kickstarter, a robotic arm that can learn by sight.
Aptly named, the 7Bot Arm is basically a simple robotic arm, that can see your hand and how it is functioning, learns the movements, and then copies the exact motions to perform almost any function that a human hand can. Picking fruits, playing chess, pouring a cup of tea, paint a scenery, it can do it all without any difficulty. These motions can also be stored in its memory and taught to the Artificial-Intelligence based system that runs the arm, so it can perform that function repeatedly, without any human intervention. This is especially intriguing as creating robots that can carry out simple human tasks have remained a big problem for engineers.
7Bot provides a really effective solution in the form of a robot arm that can effectively perform your hand’s functions without any coding it all. This means that this can be used by rookies and experts alike. How does it see your hand?
Well, you can simply hold the robot and move it about like a child, and it will automatically record the movement and replay it. Alternatively, you can either use a leap motion controller, or use Kinect, both of which work perfectly. For advanced users, the creators of 7Bot Arm provide two more options, a 3D-visualization software to program the robot or program it using the C and C++ open source APIs
The team behind this invention uploaded a video on their Kickstarter page that shows the full extent of the things that it is capable of. Have a look at the robot as it does some incredible Chinese calligraphy, paints a beautiful scenery, plays chess, and sorts lemons by color below:
The 7Bot started with a goal of $50,000 on KickStarter but now stands at nearly four times that amount, at $215,400, with 15 days still left. It will retail for $350 and will the rewards will start shipping to the earliest backers by January, 2016. If you’re a geek like us and would love to get one of these as soon as possible, you can head over to their KickStarter page and pledge $297 or more, depending on the number of accessories you want along with 7Bot. Hurry up though, as the funding round closes on the 9th of November. Here’s a chart for what your money will get you!