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Making Things See by Greg Borenstein

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Inverse Kinematics

Up to this point, we’ve been having our robot arm reproduce the motions of a real arm. This created a number of conveniences for us in our code. There was a natural match between the way the real arm moved and the data we needed to control the robot. We could simply measure the angles of the user’s actual body and reproduce them with the robot. However, there are also many situations where we’d like our robot arm to be able to follow the motions of something that doesn’t share its mechanics. For example, it would be great to have the arm be able to follow a single point, for example a user’s head of center of mass. This ability would let the robot arm act as a flashlight or a pointer.

When we’re tracking just a single point, ...

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