Thursday, July 09, 2009

Industrial Breakfast Robots

My mental model of how manufacturing works is basically the Sesame Street video of a crayon factory, with everything queued up just so, and feeding one at a time into the next step of the process. Thanks to advances in computer vision and robotics, modern manufacturing can look a lot more disorganized since it's apparently easier to make robots that can tolerate variations in their input than to keep everything perfect throughout the pipeline. Here's a video of robots toiling in some sort of breakfast factory:

It's especially cool that the sausage-aligning robot (at 0:30) doesn't need to line things up parallel to the conveyor because the next robot is also capable of picking up the whole set at different angles.

One more video, of a series of robots stacking pancakes. They don't appear to be following any particular pattern as they grab pancakes from the conveyor, but by the end of the line of robots nearly all the pancakes are neatly stacked.

[via Singularity Hub]