Engineers Design New Robot That Resolves Its Biggest Kryptonite: Opening Doors!

Engineers Design New Robot That Resolves Its Biggest Kryptonite: Opening Doors!
Engineers in the United States are working on a robot that can unlock doors and locate the nearest electric power outlet to recharge without the assistance of humans. Photo : Alex Knight/UNSPLASH

Engineers in the United States are working on a robot that can unlock doors and locate the nearest electric power outlet to recharge without the assistance of humans.

Since it is still in the development phase, there are other helper robots available in the market to purchase. 

Robotics Engineers of University of Cincinnati Resolves Robots' Kryptonite

In an article posted by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), Ou Ma, a professor of aerospace engineering at the University of Cincinnati (UC), described opening a door as a robot's kryptonite.

"Robots can do many things, but if you want one to open a door by itself and go through the doorway, that's a tremendous challenge," he furthered on IET.

In relation to this, the students of Intelligent Robotics and Autonomous Systems Laboratory at the University of Cincinnati used three-dimensional digital simulations to resolve this problem. The UC students are currently working on an autonomous robot that can not only open its own doors, but also locate the closest electric power outlet for charging without the need for human involvement.

As per the developers, this small progress in independence is a huge leap for helper robots that vacuums and disinfects office buildings, airports and hospitals. In addition to this, helper robots are part of a $27 billion robotic industry, which includes manufacturing and automation.

On the other hand, Yufeng Sun, a Ph.D. student in the UC College of Engineering and Applied Science, said some researchers have addressed the issue by scanning an entire room to build a 3D digital model that the robot can use to find a door, per EIT. The Ph.D. student added that there are various challenges in constructing an autonomous robot that can open a door for itself.

Science Daily added that doors have a variety of colors and sizes, as well as handles that are slightly taller or lower. To overcome obstacles, robots must know how much force to apply to open doors. Since most public doors are self-closing, there is a possibility that the robot will have to start over once it loses its grip on the door.

Meanwhile, Sun claimed that the digital simulations are often only 60 to 70 percent successful in their early real-world simulations. He estimated that bridging the gap to perfect his new autonomous robotic system will take a year or more.

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Helper Robots That We Have Right Now

For those who are curious to know what are the other helper robots that we have right now, Good Net has shared several home robots created to make lives easier.

iRobot's Roomba

Roomba has been around since 2002, but it has come a long way in the past 16 years. The most recent model can do more than just vacuuming. This can be operated through Wi-Fi or with voice-activated assistance like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.

While cleaning home floors, the Roomba can remember filthy spots that need particular care. Most importantly, owners do not have to plug Roomba to charge since it plugs itself into its charging station. Aside from this fact, it will also return to where it left off once the battery is recharged.

Alfawise Magnetic

Alfawise has similarities to a vacuum cleaner, but it can do a lot more since it incorporates microfiber pads for cleaning windows and suction capabilities to keep it from falling off while cleaning.

Aido by Ingen Dynamic

Aido is a family-friendly robot that can assist you with home tasks, manage schedules, connect and adjust inputs from custom medical devices, and even interact with your children. Unfortunately, it is not available for purchase yet.

Related Article: Clean Your House With the Future: The 3 Best Robot Vacuums in 2020 

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