how are collaborative robots trained?

in rethinking robotics by Jeff Green

You may have heard about collaborative robots that are trained by demonstration, but until you see it you may not truly know what that means, how it works and just how easy it is to do.  Even if you’ve never touched a line of code or had any type of programming experience, it’s as easy as showing the robot what to do.

So imagine training a robot to perform a task simply by guiding its arm, clicking a few buttons and you’re done. In a matter of minutes you just set a cobot to pick an object from one location and place it in another. That’s exactly what it means to train a collaborative robot by demonstration.

Here’s how Jim Lawton, Rethink’s Chief Product and Marketing Officer, describes the experience:

“You grab it by the wrist and it goes into what we call Zero-G mode. The robot is using its motors to compensate for its own weight, so it feels when you’re moving the arm around as if you’re moving it through free space. You can basically move the arm over here, click a button, and once you’ve done that, the robot can do it over and over and over again without any intervention from you.”

For more on this and a good visual of what Zero-G mode is, watch the two minute video above and hear what else Jim has to say about the difference between collaborative robots – or cobots – and traditional industrial robots.


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(1 comment)

About the Author

Jeff Green

I'm Jeff Green, senior content and social media strategist at Rethink Robotics. When I'm not socializing Sawyer and Baxter, our smart, collaborative robots, I'm usually caught up in the home tornado, also known as my three kids. Love them, my wife, old-school Chinese food, movies, and of course game-changing technology.

1 comment on this article

myrobostation October 30, 2017 at 9:55 am

The robot uses its motor weight to cover its own weight, so it feels like you move your hands as if you move through the free space.

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