ARM is a two-armed robot designed to perform complex manipulation tasks. It was created for DARPA's Autonomous Robotic Manipulation program. Its official name is ARM, but you can call him Robbie.
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When RE2, the firm hired to build the ARM robot, asked DARPA for guidance about the robot's appearance, DARPA said the robot should look like a Star Wars character.
Former DARPA program manager Gill Pratt describes his reaction after seeing the ARM robot for the first time.Photo: Janey Pratt
Gill Pratt describes how the ARM robot uses cameras and tactile sensors to perform tasks such as unlocking a door with a key.Photo: DARPA
Led by Dr. Gill Pratt, DARPA's Autonomous Robotic Manipulation (ARM) program aimed at developing hardware and software to significantly advance robots' ability to manipulate and interact with the physical world. The ARM robot was built as a test bed for the research and development of algorithms to perform human-level tasks quickly and with minimal direction. In 2010, six institutions were selected for the first phase of the program, with each group receiving a one-armed robot to work with. In late 2011, DARPA evaluated each group's performance and subsequently initiated the program's second phase, where focus turned to complex bimanual manipulation scenarios. The program also included an outreach component, whose aim is to show the robotics community and the public how the technologies developed might be used in the future and to get people excited about robotics and engineering in general.