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Pizza making robot

Do you like robots? Do you like Pizza? Then you will love this project by ERC granted Prof. Bruno Siciliano from Naples University. 

Have you ever thought about the complexity of making pizzas? Stretching the dough, tossing, seasoning, baking with dynamic turning. It is a real art. A robot -named RODYMAN- will soon have the required dexterity to reproduce this gastronomic choreography. With unprecedented manipulation skills and an enhanced ability to work in human environments, RODYMAN's future looks bright. From assisting elderly people to repairing a human limb: the potential applications of RODYMAN are numerous and can greatly improve our daily lives.

The goal of the RODYMAN project is the derivation of a unified framework for dynamic manipulation where the mobile nature of the robotic system and the manipulation of non-prehensile non-rigid or deformable objects will explicitly be taken into account.
Novel techniques for 3D object perception, dynamic manipulation control and reactive planning will be proposed. An innovative mobile platform with a torso, two lightweight arms with multi-fingered hands, and a sensorized head will be developed for effective execution of complex manipulation tasks, also in the presence of humans.

As explained by Dr. Siciliano, these features make Rody Man to carry out its primary task, "The interaction with the man" you get with "The control flow of events in a given activity, react and learn from the surrounding environment. Will be able to quickly deal with unexpected situations, such as the presence of human or obstacles." All this without causing harm to themselves or the outside (including humans):

The strength of the robot, its manual capacity, which makes it able to work with "rigid and deformable objects, such as food and clothes." The current evidence gave good results: the next step is to test the ability to prepare pizza, from mixing to cooking.
The action plan is drawn from Siciliano: "We want to involve one of the best pizzaolo in the city to learn directly from him the art of these skilled movements. How? He will wear a biokinetics suit equipped with sensors and a 3D motion capture system", so that the movements of the human being "stored" by the robot.

That said, the preparation of pizza ("almost impossible" to reach the levels of the experts) is only one aspect of potential: the first task of Rody Man is in fact the assistance during surgery or the work of "caregiver specialist" for the elderly or persons with severe disabilities.


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If you like to see moving pictures, please download this video directly from the website of University of Naples (www.prisma.unina.it/press/TG1_301013.mp4).

Even if you do not understand Italian, you will understand what RoDy Man is about.