The autonomous robotic excavator can do a number of useful tasks on its own in hazardous environments, e.g. after a natural disaster or a nuclear accident, removing piles of waste or radioactive waste.
The researchers, who published the paper in the journal Robotics, estimated that the Autonomous Excavator System (AES) could be adopted quickly and widely by companies manufacturing construction equipment, as well as by other technical companies or bodies.
Excavation is considered one of the most dangerous processes in the construction industry, often leading to accidents at work and deaths due to various causes (ground retreat, rock landslides, excessive dust, etc.). Robots could rid humans of the most dangerous part of these tasks by automation.
The new most advanced robot proved in tests of all kinds (digging ditches, loading trucks, cleaning debris and waste, accumulating rocks or other materials in one place, etc.) that it combines many abilities. It understands its environment through the use of LiDAR technology in its sensors, has cameras and multiple algorithms that accurately detect the objects around it.
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Autonomous robotic excavator “learns” itself to improve while working in a particular space. Among other things, it has a neural network that “cleans” images when there is a lot of dust in the environment.
Video from YouTube channel Baidu Inc.