TechTalks from event: Technical session talks from ICRA 2012

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Novel Robot Designs

  • Optimal Design of Nonlinear Profile of Gear Ratio Using Non-Circular Gear for Jumping Robot Authors: Okada, Masafumi; Takeda, Yushi
    In this paper, we develop a design method of nonlinear profile of gear ratio to utilize a DC servo motor effectively for jumping robot. Because the larger ground force yields the higher kinetic energy of the robot body, the optimal gear ratio is obtained by the maximization of the ground force from statics point of view. Moreover, the varying gear ratio during the jump motion is obtained through a simulation which connects statics-based optimization and robot dynamics. A non-circular gear is synthesized which realizes the obtained optimal varying gear ratio. The effectiveness of the proposed method is evaluated by simulations.
  • Stackable Manipulator for Mobile Manipulation Robot Authors: Lee, Hoyul; Oh, Yonghwan; Choi, Youngjin
    This paper proposes a new manipulator concept applied to a mobile robot manipulation system for reducing robot size and weight or increasing its work capacities such as a ayload, operating radius, and operating speed. In detail, we propose a new robotic manipulator that uses stackable 4- BAR mechanisms for mobile manipulation robot. The proposed mechanism provides a clear advantage in which all the ctuators can be separated from the working joints. Thus, the mechanism is able to select the Center of Mass (CoM) and the Zero-Moment Point (ZMP) in arbitrary points without any support from ZMP controller or ZMP compensation method. To confirm efficiency of the new manipulator, this paper ddresses a design method using the simplified beam theory, based on the well-known Finite Element Method (FEM) for structural stiffness analysis of linkages. The reason behind this is that the CoM and ZMP are dependent on the weight of the motors and the linkages. Ultimately, we show the efficiency of the proposed stackable manipulator through simulations and experiments.
  • Development of Hair-Washing Robot Equipped with Scrubbing Fingers Authors: Hirose, Toshinori; Fujioka, Soichiro; Mizuno, Osamu; Nakamura, Tohru
    We have developed the world's first hair-washing robot equipped with scrubbing fingers. This robot assists in washing hair in hospitals or care facilities, and it eases the burden of healthcare professionals and care workers while it brings a higher quality of life to patients and others in need of nursing care. It features the mechanical and control technologies needed for touching someone gently on the head. These include, for instance, the self-aligning mechanism and the cylindrical rack mechanism of the robot's end effector, the parallel link mechanism of its pressing arm, and the compliance control for providing an appropriate sense of pressure.
  • I-Hand: An Intelligent Robotic Hand for Fast and Accurate Assembly in Electronic Manufacturing Authors: CHEN, FEI; Sekiyama, Kosuke; Di, Pei; Huang, Jian; Fukuda, Toshio
    In electronics manufacturing system, the design of the robotic gripper is important for the successful accomplishment of the assembly task. Due to the restriction of the architecture of traditional robotic grippers, the status of assembly parts during the assembly process cannot be effectively detected. In this research, an intelligent robotic gripper – i-Hand equipped with multiple small sensors is designed and built for this purpose, getting the essential parameters for some specific mathematical model. Mating connectors by robot, as a experimental case in this paper, is studied to evaluate the performance of i-Hand. A simple new model is proposed to describe the process of mating connectors, within which the distance between the connector and deformable Printed Circuit Board (PCB) is detected by i-Hand. An online Fault Detection and Diagnosis algorithm (FDD) is proposed. Various possible situations during assembly are detected and handled by using sensor data fusion. The effectiveness of proposed model and algorithm is proved by the experiments.
  • A Radial Crank-Type Continuously Variable Transmission Driven by Two Ball Screws Authors: Yamada, Hiroya
    Power-to-weight ratio of actuators is extremely important for robots, particularly mobile robots. The combination of electric motor and speed reducer, which is the most common driving mechanism for robots, can utilize the motor in the area where its power output is high when the reduction ratio is appropriately designed relative to the load. However, in the case of applications in which the load significantly changes, the motor has to be operated in the area where its power output significantly drops. This problem has restricted the capability of mobile robots, especially biologically inspired robots. Therefore in this paper I focus on a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Crank-type CVTs, which have been used for robotic joints, have the major disadvantage of a limited range of motion due to the dead point of the crank. Thus, this paper proposes the Radial Crank-type CVT (RC-CVT), which overcomes this limit of range of motion by increasing the number of links driving the crank of the CVT. This RC-CVT holds promise as an efficient robotic joint as it can utilize ball screws. This paper shows the equations of kinematics and statics of the RC-CVT and also describes the design and test of the prototype. The application to a quadruped robot is also introduced.
  • Rolling Tensegrity Driven by Pneumatic Soft Actuators Authors: Koizumi, Yuusuke; Shibata, Mizuho; Hirai, Shinichi
    In this paper, we describe the rolling of a tensegrity robot driven by a set of pneumatic soft actuators. Tensegrity is a mechanical structure consisting of a set of rigid elements connected by elastic tensional elements. Introducing tensegrity structures, we are able to build soft robots with larger size. Firstly, we show the prototype of a six-strut tensegrity robot, which is driven by twenty-four pneumatic McKibben actuators. Second, we formulate the geometry of the tensegrity robot. We categorize contact states between a six-strut tensegrity robot and a flat ground into two; axial symmetric contact and planar symmetric contact. Finally, we experimentally examine if rolling can be performed over a flat ground for individual sets of the actuators and discuss the strategy of rolling.