The development of a robot whose ultimate task is to serve humans as a companion in their daily life is the objective of a European projectt called“The Cognitive Robot Companion”, one of the projects funded by the“Beyond Robotics”initiative. The robot is not only considered as a ready-made device but as an artificial creature, which improves its capabilities in a continuous process of acquiring and learning new knowledge and skills. Besides the necessary functions for sensing, moving and acting, such a robot will exhibit the cognitive capacities enabling it to focus its attention and to make decisions, to understand the spatial and dynamic struc-ture of its environment, to interact with it, to exhibit a social behaviour, and to communicate with humans at the appropriate level of abstraction according to the context.
A virtual model-manipulation system-aimed at off-line teleoperation teaching-has been developed on the World Wide Web. To give a feeling to the virtual model manipulation, the system is equipped with a force-display function as well as a virtual display. To realize this feeling, a high-speed contact-motion simulator enables the computation of constrained motion in the virtual environment. In addition, a firm force reaction is produced by using a sixdegrees-of-freedom position-controlled manipulator with force feedback as a master arm. This manipulation system is intended to be used by anybody, anywhere, at any time freely. It uses standard modules (such as Web browsers for GUIs, VRML for graphics, and Java applet) and a position-controlled manipulator for model handling. Consequently, the developed system can be utilized anytime from anywhere equipped with the master arm. A prototype system was developed and virtual model manipulation was carried out successfully in two environment: a simple block world and a complex room environment. The manipulation system was experimentally tested, and it was shown that the new system can effectively manipulate a virual model.
TheLearning from Observation (LFO) paradigm has been widely applied in various types of robot systems. It helps reduce the work of the programmer. However, so far, the available systems have application limited to rigid objects. Deformable objects are not considered, because: (1) it is difficult to describe their states and (2) too many operations are possible on them. In this paper, we choose knot-tying tasks as case study for operating on deformable objects, since theknot theoryis available and since types of operations are limited. In actuality, we introduce an appropriate representation for describing knot's states and define four types of operations enough to realize any knot-tying tasks.
Because robot motions are generated through the interaction between the robot body and its environments, it is necessary for the robot to modify the motion pattern that is prepared a prior, depending on the situation. We have proposed dynamics-based information processing system in which a dynamical system memorizes and replays the robot whole body motion using the entrainment phenomenon of the nonlinear dynamics. In this paper, we propose the motion pattern modifying method based on the re-design of the dynamics using the on-line least square method, and the hierarchical design method of the dynamical system for the large-scale system to generate the context dependent motion sequence.
This paper deals with attitude control of planar space robots, whose conservation of the angular momentum leads to a non-integrable constraint (: nonholonomic constraint) . Although most of previous works on feedback control for nonholonomic systems are developed for Chained (or Power) form, the space robot has singular configuration in transformation to the chained system. This paper seeks possibility of feedback control using manifolds, instead of an invariant manifold usually constructed through numerical integration for non-chained systems. The relation between the type of the manifold and behavior of the state variables are investigated in detail, and some conditions of the manifold are specified. Also, behavior of the state variables of space robots is verified numerically.
Active entities such as robots will play an important role in the next generation of communication. In this paper, a physical medium that includes the motion of active entities such as robots or physical end-effectors is called MotionMedia and the efficient sharing method of the robot motion control data (called MotionMedia content) is discussed for the realization of robotic communication services. To foster the sharing MotionMedia contents and minimize the overhead of the sharing, the reuse of conventional media for the sharing MotionMedia is an important idea. So, the conceptual idea of MotionMedia contents sharing via audio is proposed. This technique embeds robot control signals in an audio stream with modulation technique. This concept can be explained as the usage of an audio medium as a carrier to convey control data. To test this concept, the authors have developed two implementations of the conceptual idea, which use frequency modulation technique and Dual Tone Multi Frequency as modulation technique respectively and proto-type desktop communication robot systems. These robots have been applied to the conventional communication media such as World Wide Web, E-mail and cell phone. The authors have showed that MotionMedia sharing platform via audio can be realized easily and it is a promising concept.
The purpose of this paper is to show the way of automatic building construction using specially designed modules. The modules are not only building blocks of the structure, but have function of automatic assemble controlled by a robot, which is also specially designed for handling the module. The shape of module is suitable for easy alignment, and automatic connection mechanism is equipped for inter-module connection. The assembler robot is able to move on the structure made of modules, carries the module to desired position and orientation, and assembles them (connect it to other modules) . The modular design of the whole system realizes well balanced allocation of important functions required for building construction, and it eventually reduces the total complexity of the system.
A master-slave type remote ultrasound diagnostic system was developed. The controller has impedance control capability for the master and slave manipulators' positions to display the contact force between the ultrasound probe and the affected part of the patient. And it has Continuous Path (CP) control capability for the slave manipulator's orientation in the remote ultrasound diagnostic system. This paper presents the controller of the slave manipulator's orientation. The remote ultrasound diagnostic system is one of the remote medical systems through the communication network (LAN, ISDN, ADSL, etc.) . Therefore, it is difficult to communicate information for control at high sampling rate. To cope with this problem, CP controller is introduced to this remote medical system. CP control realizes smooth and accurate motion of the slave manipulator even if it is available to use a lower sampling rate of the transmitting orientation data of the master manipulator. As a result, it allows the slave manipulator to improve safety and decrease the volume of the transmitting data. The experimental results demonstrate the accuracy of the path control of the slave manipulator during CP control in the master-slave manipulation system comparing with the conventional Point To Point (PTP) control.
Movements of the upper limbs are indispensable for daily activities. It therefore is important for the aged to exercise to keep their upper limb function. When something is wrong with the upper limb function because of disease or disorder, rehabilitation along with medical treatment is needed to recover function. Application of robotics and virtual reality technology makes possible for new training methods and exercises on upper limb rehabilitation and for quantitative evaluations to enhance the qualitative effect of training. However, rehabilitation systems applying training within a three-dimensional to upper limbs have not been in practical use. In this paper, the authors report on development of a 3-DOF exercise machine for upper limb, which can be use as a motion guide robot or a force display device. Particularly, mechanical structure safety kept by actuators using ER fluid is mentioned.
This report proposes a control system design for soccer robots based on the immune system. The immune system is a kind of engineering model imitating the human immune system, whose advantages are as follows: self-optimization by learning, and easiness in dynamic reconfiguration of themselves. Thus, the immune system can be effectively applied to robot control in dynamic environments. After applying the system to an obstacle avoidance problem, we extend it to 3 vs. 2 soccer plays. Simulation results show that the immune system is useful for robot control.