Shadow Robot Hands help new research into safe artificial intelligence by OpenAI

The research led by OpenAI has created eight newly released environments, four of which uses the Shadow Hand robot to solve realistic manipulation tasks. The Shadow Hand is tactile enough to rotate a block and a solid egg and flexible enough to move a pen between its fingers.

The Shadow Robot Company, renowned for being leaders in robotic hands for grasping and manipulation and using their robotic hands to address real world challenges from fruit picking to bomb disposal, have announced that they are working with OpenAI, a non-profit company focusing on the path to safe artificial intelligence, by supplying OpenAI their Shadow Dexterous Hands for AI research.


The research led by OpenAI has created eight newly released environments, four of which uses the Shadow Hand robot to solve realistic manipulation tasks. The Shadow Hand is tactile enough to rotate a block and a solid egg and flexible enough to move a pen between its fingers.

All the new tasks have the concept of a "goal" such as achieving the desired orientation of a block in the Shadow hand block manipulation task. Along with releasing these new robotics environments, OpenAI are releasing code for Hindsight Experience Replay (HER), a reinforcement learning algorithm that can teach and improve robotic technology to learn from failure. Results from the research - using the hardware supplied by Shadow Robot Company - is publicly available.

Rich Walker, Managing Director of the Shadow Robot Company says: "We are happy and honoured that OpenAI chose our Shadow Dexterous Hand to use for their latest research into safe and fundamental advances in AI capabilities. Were keen to see what other opportunities are out there for us in the AI space and the Shadow Dexterous Hand is the perfect tool for exploring AI as it mimics the human hand, from overall size, to a total of 24 joints, to its range of movement."

About:

Shadow will be exhibiting at the European Robotics Forum (#ERF2018), a three-day event held in Tampere, Finland (13-15 March 2018) and Shadows MD, Rich Walker is chairing the programme second year in a row.

The Shadow Robot Company, based in London, is one of the longest running robotics companies in the UK, developing dexterous robotics manipulation technologies ("hands for robots") and using their advanced grasping and manipulation software to solve real world problems. Shadow was founded in 1987 by a group of robotics enthusiasts and for the last ten years, Shadow has delivered exciting engineering projects for clients with outstanding work in Mechanical, Electronic, Software and Pneumatic Engineering. Shadow's collaborations range from theatre projects with Leeds University, to working with both NASA and ESA (European Space Agency) and universities throughout the world.

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