Thursday, February 25, 2016

RightHand Robotics

As many of you know I switched jobs recently.  I'd been working at Vecna for three years and while I loved my work and my coworkers I wasn't as happy with the way the company was run.  When I was on the west coast this last summer for Ross Hatton's wedding I ran into Lael Odhner who I knew from MIT.  One thing led to another and a while later I had joined RightHand Robotics.

What does RightHand Robotics do?  Well, as you might guess from the name we work with robotic grasping.  If you go to our webpage you can see a bunch of videos with our robotic hands doing things.  I'll just embed this one video of the hand we make picking up and moving a bunch of different objects.

The arm you see there is a relatively off the shelf model made by Universal Robots, the UR5.  The hand at the end was made by us and is called the Reflex gripper.

The Reflex grippers are actually open source.  On Github you can go to this repository to find most of the schematics and firmware involved in building one of them.  Yet we still manage to sell them because we've built a bunch and just taking some schematics and turning them into a hand isn't trivial.  We mostly sell them to big companies and universities.

I've worked on the Reflex some but what I'm really working on is our super secret next step which I can't talk that much about.  I've been doing a mix of firmware and software just like I did at Vecna but I've also been much more involved with algorithm development.  The new job is just as conveniently located as the old one.  Instead of heading out my front door, turning right, and walking 20 minutes now I turn left instead.  We're located in Greentown Labs where there are also a lot of other nifty companies and it's nice to see what they're up to as well.  We're right next to Grove for instance and they've got a lot of fish tanks and plants which makes for good atmosphere.

I should really have posted all of this earlier but I'm glad I got it out and I'm very much enjoying my new position.

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