Home Science 'Stretch' helper robot has arm to assist with household tasks

'Stretch' helper robot has arm to assist with household tasks

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Ex-Google executive unveils robotic helper ‘Stretch’ equipped with gripper arm to help with simple household tasks

  • Stretch is a robot designed to facilitiate research into household robotics
  • It has a robotic arm and gripper attached to a wheeled platform 
  • It was released by Hello Robot for $17,950 after three years of development  
  • The bot can be used for a number of tasks including moving laundry, holding a small vacuum, and opening and closing drawers

A robotics company co-founded by an ex-Google executive has launched its first ever product called, Stretch.

The bot, which Hello Robot has spent three years developing, is being marketed as a ‘home automation platform’ designed to spur advancements in home robotics.

It consists of a robotic arm and gripper attached to a wheeled base and can be programmed for a number of household tasks like removing laundry from a dryer or operating a handheld vacuum. 

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Stretch can be programmed to do a number of household chores like vacuuming or taking clothes out of a dryer

Stretch can be programmed to do a number of household chores like vacuuming or taking clothes out of a dryer

‘What sets this robot apart is its extraordinary reach — which is why we named it Stretch,’ said Edsinger in a statement. 

‘Its patent pending design makes possible a range of applications such as assisting an older parent at home, stocking grocery shelves, and wiping down potentially infectious surfaces at the workplace. We see Stretch as a game-changing platform for researchers and developers who will create this future.’

In addition to its gripper, the bot uses a 3D camera and range finder for navigating as well as an on-board computer. It uses a combination of ROS and Python for software.

Despite its household applications, Hello Robot, which is helmed by former Google director of robotics Aaron Edsinger and Georgia Tech robotics professor Charlie Kemp, isn’t ready to enter into the consumer market just yet.   

The current iteration is meant for research and despite its $17,950 price tag is still less expensive compared other academic counterparts.

According to the team, Stretch will stay as a dedicated researcher platform for now but may expand to other applications, including commercial operations. in the future.

‘Subsequent editions of Stretch will likely be targeted more directly at commercial applications,’ Edsinger told TechCrunch.

‘But at this point we’re focused on providing the best customer experience possible with the Research Edition.’

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