Watch a Robot Tamer Control Industrial Machines With Simple Gestures

Illustration for article titled Watch a Robot Tamer Control Industrial Machines With Simple Gestures

In factories, many simple, repetitive tasks have already been taken over by machines. But as we bring industrial robots into unpredictable, interactive environments, we’re going to need better ways to communicate with them.


That’s why engineer and designer Madeline Gannon developed Quipt, a gesture-based control software that helps industrial robots interact more fluidly with their human handlers. Wearable markers on a persons’ hands or neck are paired with a motion capture system, allowing the robot to see and respond to simple signals. One could imagine construction workers using this technology to tell robots where to drill or weld, and when to stop, with a flick of the wrist.

Learn more about Quipt in the video below, and on Gannon’s instructable here. Watching a half ton machine respond to a human like a tame animal, I can’t help but feel that we’re already living in the future.




Gannon says pretty much all the easy stuff has been automated now but, then soft pedals it a bit by saying the remaining stuff is supposed to work more closely with humans.

It’s still automation though, working closely with people or not.

We need to start thinking seriously about a basic income guarantee. Because a huge portion of people are going to be rendered unemployable through no fault of their own. There are arguments pro and con but at least we should start thinking about it. Thomas Paine suggested it two centuries ago. There are even right libertarians who support it.

Because the real threat of robots isn’t going to be murdering us all, it’s going to be casting most of us out of a job.