This project could work on a wide range of equipment but for those who want to replicate our results here is the complete hardware list:

  • Rethink Robotics Baxter
    • Dual arm robot, useful because one can control the RFID antenna while the other grips objects. Grippers have an accuracy of around 3mm, which is sufficient for this project.
    • At least 1x electric parallel gripper sets.
  • Planar Helium PCT2785 27”
    • Multi-touch, projected capacitive touch technology that supports up to 20 points at a time. Planar offers much larger screens.
  • Alien Technology ALR-9680 development kit
    • This comes with all the hardware you need (reader, antenna, antenna cable, network cables and PoE) and a Ruby, Java and .Net API. The API allows fairly easy modifications of the scripts. Reader can support up to 4x antennas, though we only used one.
    • Compatible with UHF tags. If you are going to use metal objects, make sure you purchase Metal-Mount UHF RFID tags. These include an insulating layer between the tag and the object’s surface, allowing the tags to work.
  • 2x DBPower Tactical Red Dot Laser Sight
    • Any laser point that can aimed straight down and attached to the gripper will work.
    • DBPower’s sight worked well on Baxter because the handgun mount fits inside Baxter’s electric parallel grippers.
  • Computer running Ubuntu Linux 14.04 or later
  • Computer running Windows 7 or later

If you don’t want to create your own 3D CAD models, we used the following two objects and the CAD designs are included in the github repository.

  • Cuisinart CTK-SS17 Aura Stainless Steel Stovetop Teakettle
  • Cuisinart 719-16 Chef’s Classic Stainless 1-1/2-Quart Saucepan with Cover