The Stretch RE1 is an invention by Hello Robot, a company founded by Dr. Aaron Edsinger and Dr. Charlie Kemp in 2017. It is a mobile manipulator with a gripper, computer, sensors and software included.
The video demonstrates the robot’s applications as personal robotics at home. It is simple to teleoperate as shown in the video, as the mobile manipulator can be used as a dog companion.
The gripper has an attachable vacuum cleaner handle that can be used to clean objects such as sofa cushions. It has contact detection for surface cleaning and drawer opening as the gripper can also hold rags to clean spills on countertops. It can open the washing machine door and transport clean laundry from the machine to a basket. It is programmed to hold various objects of different shapes and textures such as eggs, spoons, and game controllers.
It is calibrated ready for autonomy with Python interfaces and ROS integration and an open-source code that is customizable. A demo code in Python is also included to help the user get started. Its accuracy is exhibited through writing the word “hello” on a white wall. It is able to map out its surroundings and is well-aligned to 3D camera images. The robot is the opposite of its large, heavy and expensive counterparts in the market, as it is lightweight enough for a child to transport and carry.