Suction cups and deep learning AI help robot arm win Amazon’s warehouse picking challenge

Amazon has crowned the winner of its second annual robot Picking Challenge. This year’s $25,000 top prize went to a machine that uses a combination of deep learning AI, depth-sensing cameras, and a “two fingered” gripper and suction cup to select and pack items. The winning robot is the work of Team Delft, a collaboration between researchers from the TU Delft Robotics Institute and the Delft Robotics company, both based in the Netherlands. The $10,000 second prize went to NimbRo from the University of Bonn, and Japanese firm PFN won $5000 for placing third. The challenge is split into two parts; first, the robots are required to pick items from a container and put them on the shelves. The task is then reversed: the robots must select objects and return…


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