The robotic arm of the future could come in the form of an arm with an arm.
That’s what a new patent filed by a California company suggests.
The patented robotic arm that the company claims could be manufactured and sold by 2020 could have a mass of 10,000 pounds or more.
A similar arm would weigh at least 5,000 lbs., and the arm could be attached to a prosthetic arm that would also contain a “firmament” of electronics and a camera.
That would enable the arm to perform various functions.
That means that it would not only be able to manipulate objects with an open hand, but it could also use the open hand to lift objects, push things, and even grab something.
The patent says that the arm “can perform various types of operations on a target object with an operator-controlled arm.”
The patent, which was filed last week, doesn’t specify a specific target object, but rather a range of “a wide variety of objects,” according to a patent filing.
“The design includes the actuators and the actuator control system for controlling the actuation of the arms in the field of view of the operator, the field-of-view of the target object in relation to the operator,” the patent states.
“Each actuator has an associated control input signal that controls the actuations of the actuants.
Each actuator includes a plurality of actuators, each of which is operable for one or more specific functions.”
The actuators include two or more independently movable arms with a mass, the patent says.
Each arm includes an actuator assembly, which is an electronic device that contains the actuating mechanism, a controller that receives a control signal, and an input signal to control the actuatory assembly.
“In order to implement a robotic arm, the actuater assembly must be able of determining the target position, which in turn is determined by the actuant control signal received by the control signal-activated actuator,” the patents states.
For example, the arm would be able “to determine the location of the object in the scene,” according the patent.
The arm would also have to “adjust the position of the arm relative to the target.”
That “adjusting of the position” is accomplished by the input signal of the control actuator, according to the patent, and that is accomplished through the input of a “target” signal.
“Target signals can be applied to a target, which then modifies the position and/or position relative to a desired target,” the inventors write.
“A position can be modified by the target, such as by applying the target signal to the actuative assembly, adjusting the actuancy of the movement of the motor of the servo motor and/ or by the user controlling the direction of movement of a control actuant,” the patented patent states, referring to the motion of a servo.
The robot arm “generates a set of actuator commands to control movement of each actuator arm,” the company says.
The invention also claims that the actuatable arms can also “control the position or position of a target to obtain a desired position.”
For example in the patent the “target position” of the robot arm is defined as “where the actuated arm is positioned relative to target object.”
That is, the position the arm is in relative to its target is a function of the “position” of that target object.
The motion of the user-controlled robotic arm “may be determined by determining the position in the view of a camera of the operating system,” according a patent summary.
The description of the robotic arm says that it “is designed for use in an arm for manipulation of a subject or object, for target selection, target detection and/ and/ OR control of the camera of an operating system.”
The inventors say the arm’s actuators “can be used to create a variety of different configurations for the robotic arms.”
The patents is just the latest in a string of robotics patents from the company that was founded by a former Google engineer.
A patent filed in 2017 claimed that the robotic hands of robots “can do almost anything” and “can detect when a user touches them.”
That patent was eventually thrown out.
The company that filed the patent also has patents for the hand of a robot, a robotic hand with hands and arms, and a robotic wrist that can extend or extend the wrist.
The inventor’s company says that their robotic arm patents have been licensed to more than 20 companies, including Boeing, Boeing-Boeing, General Electric, Honeywell, IBM, and Qualcomm.