RoDyMan, acronym for Robotic Dynamic Manipulation, is a five-year research project (2013-2018) funded by the European Research Council to the CREATE Consortium and carried out at PRISMA Lab in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology of the University of Naples Federico II.
The goal is the development of a service robot able to manipulate elastic and soft objects, which change continuously density and shape, as well as to manipulate objects in a non-prehensile way, i.e. without grasping them. These robots will be used not only in manufacturing but also as an aid to elderly or disabled people, for medical and surgical use, and in other manual activities.
Preparing a pizza involves an extraordinary level of manual dexterity: for this reason a pizzaiolo robot has been conceived and a pizza chef has been involved in the project to learn his keen motions directly through a biokinetic sensor suite he wears while stretching the dough, seasoning, tossing and baking on the pizza peel.
It is also a tribute to Naples, at the forefront of technology, robotics and automation, but especially of culture and gastronomy, of which pizza is a symbol and tradition. Creating a robot able to manipulate objects like humans is one of the most sought and difficult challenges of robotics.
It means to replicate skills that are the result of human biological and cultural evolution.This video took 2nd place in the First “Robotics Made in Italy” video contest, promoted by the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society, Italian Chapter. The video is realized by Jonathan Cacace and Mario Selvaggio.