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实验室新伙伴:可移动的机器人化学家

Your new lab partner: A mobile robot chemist

VOICE OVER: Meet the robot chemist – a mobile autonomous worker
来认识机器人化学家:一位可移动的自主工作者
that has been designed to offer a helping hand around the lab.
旨在成为实验室的好帮手
We started the project around three years ago,
约三年前 我们开始了这个项目
and we’d never worked with mobile robots before.
之前我们没有在工作中用过可移动机器人
We’ve worked with automation,
我们用过自动机器
but the first few months were spent
但在这个项目最初几个月
really just learning how to drive the thing around the lab reliably.
我们都在研究如何让机器人在实验室可靠地运转
What we’ve done, unusually, is to use a mobile system.
这个项目的特殊之处在于 使用一个可移动系统
That has advantages because you can really drop it into an existing lab and,
它的优势是你能直接把它放进现有的实验室
without much modification, use equipment which is already there.
不用过多调整 它就能使用已有的设备
To some extent, if a human can use the equipment,
某种程度上说 如果人会使用这些设备
the robot can use the equipment.
机器人也会
VOICE OVER: This robot helper has been designed by chemists at the University of Liverpool
这位机器人助手由利物浦大学的化学家设计
to help them in their research into developing photocatalysts,
用来协助光催化剂的研究
which are materials that help produce hydrogen from water using light.
光催化剂能在光照下促使氢气从水中分解
The robot communicates with a software control system wirelessly.
机器人与软件控制系统无线连接
It needs to be wireless because it’s moving around a large space.
机器人要大范围移动 所以必须无线连接
The robot weighs out the solid catalyst.
它为固体催化剂称重
It dispenses the liquids.
配制溶液
It shines the light onto the samples.
为样本提供光照
It measures the output, which is hydrogen,
测量产出 也就是氢气量
and based on this output, the hydrogen emission from the experiment,
并根据产出 也就是实验中的氢气产量
it then makes a decision about what to do next.
决定下一步做什么
VOICE OVER: Just like a human chemist,
和人类化学家一样
this robot needs to be able to adapt its workflow
机器人也要能根据实验结果
based on the outcome of its experiments,
调整工作流程
and this requires a computational solution.
而这一功能要靠计算解决方案
If you work out the number of possible combinations of the components in the experiment,
如果你计算出实验中各成分可能的组合数量
it’s something like 98 million,
差不多9800万种可能
so the robot uses an optimisation algorithm using a method called Bayesian optimisation
机器人就能用优化算法 即贝叶斯优化
to navigate that chemical space.
来探索化学空间
VOICE OVER: To help it work more like a human chemist,
为了让机器人工作起来更像人类化学家
this optimisation algorithm is a type of AI that gives the robot decision-making capabilities.
这种优化算法是一种赋予机器人决策力的人工智能
But unlike its human counterpart, the robot can run continuously,
但与人类同事不一样的是 它能持续工作
so there’s a balance to be struck between giving the robot too much freedom and restricting it.
所以要在给它自由和约束它之间找到平衡
If you explore too much then you end up doing 98 million experiments
如果它探索过多 做上9800万次实验
and that’s just not possible,
这肯定不现实
but if you exploit too much, if you optimise too greedily or too quickly,
但如果过多利用算法 优化得太多太快
you don’t necessarily find the best solution.
不一定能找到最好的组合方式
VOICE OVER: During these experiments,
在实验过程中
the robot relies on its articulating arm to interact with lab equipment,
机器人依靠关节臂操作设备
and at the end of this is a special gripper
关节臂末端是特殊的钳子
that allows the robot to pick things up and operate machinery.
让它能抓握东西 操作机器
To navigate the lab and to avoid misplaced stools
为了在实验室移动 并避开乱放的凳子
or avoid collisions with its human coworkers,
不碰撞到其他人类同事
this robot uses LiDAR, which is a bit like radar
机器人使用LiDAR系统 它类似雷达
but uses lasers instead to map its 3D environment.
但用激光绘制3D环境
On top of its laser scanning system,
除了激光扫描系统
there’s a force feedback calibration,
它还有力反馈校准装置
and what that is is the robot taps a cube which is located in a fixed space
那就是 机器人轻触固定区域的一个立方体
and that then provides a six-position reference point.
然后这个装置就会提供六个面位置的参照点
VOICE OVER: The robot is programmed with the coordinates of equipment and instruments that it needs to use,
机器人要用的设备和配套的使用方法都被编入程序
and each of these stations is marked with their own cubes.
每个工作台都被特定的立方体标记过位置
This gets the robot closer
这让机器人拥有
to having the sort of positioning and control that a human would have with their hands,
近似人类双手的定位和控制能力
which is essential when interacting with delicate glassware.
这种能力在接触精密玻璃器皿时非常重要
It doesn’t just move around according to a program.
机器人不只是根据程序设定移动
It navigates and makes its choice to do the most optimal schedule.
它能选择最佳方案并据此移动
Now, you could, in principle, do that with a human,
原则上来说 人也可以这样做
but it’s a pretty uncomfortable way for most people to work,
但对大多数人来说
to be driven by an algorithm.
按照算法工作会不太自在
Bear in mind, the robot doesn’t invent the experiment, doesn’t design the experiment.
要知道 机器人不提出 也不设计实验方案
It doesn’t come up with the hypotheses.
它也不提出假设
So, the robot is a tool to search the space,
它只是探寻化学空间的工具
we still need people to think of the problems to work on.
我们仍需人思考研究问题
So, I don’t see it as replacing jobs as this stage.
所以我不认为眼下机器人取代了人的工作
I see it as augmenting people’s abilities to do research.
我把它看作增强人类研究能力的一种工具
VOICE OVER: And amidst the global pandemic, the robot has found compelling new potential
在全球疫情要求保持社交距离的时期
in maintaining lab work during periods of social distancing.
机器人在维持实验室运作方面展现出惊人的新潜能
We’ve now received a lot of interest on the technology in terms of how might
如何在保持一定社交距离下重启实验室
you restart laboratories while still operating a certain level of social distancing.
很多人对这种技术表现出兴趣 来询问我们
If you have a technology where you can load the system up and then takes three hours
如果有这种技术 你就可以 花三小时设置好系统
and then it works for eight days or two weeks by itself
然后它就能自主工作八天或两周
then you can see possibilities there.
那么重启实验室就有了可能
So, yeah, I’d be delighted if we can find some way to contribute to that.
如果能找到某种方式促进该技术的运用 我会很高兴

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视频概述

由利物浦大学化学系研发的机器人实验室助手,利用算法和程序协助实验室工作。

听录译者

收集自网络

翻译译者

KJQWXYZC

审核员

审核员LJ

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRT3tepdMyI

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