TossingBot, a robotic arm that picks up items and tosses them to boxes outside its reach range. It is double the speed and dexterity of other state-of-the-art picking systems achieving 500+ mean picks per hour, and is better at throwing than most of the engineers on the team. The key to TossingBot is a self-improving artificial intelligence algorithm that uses a combination of both physics and deep learning. This enables it to learn quickly — starting with just grasping objects in the morning, and eventually learning to toss them by the evening. The system is also general — capable of handling objects it has never seen before, and adapting to new target landing locations.
Here’s a more in-depth video:
During its first rodeo, the mechanical arm didn’t know what to do with the pile of objects it was presented with. After 14 hours of trial and error and analyzing them with its overhead cameras, it was finally able to toss the right item into the right container 85 percent of the time.
(Via Sara, a former student of mine)