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

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. We’re 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.”