To realize multipurpose recognition system for various robots, it is necessary to design the recognition system which is independent from robot body. When human equipped the system, we can obtain sensor logs with difficult motion for robots, and apply recognized information from logs to robot navigation. In this paper, we make a head mounted stereo vision sensor system and propose a simultaneous estimation method of camera pose and environment model in real environment. We show some environment models as results.
Various kinds of home use robots have been developed recently to support our daily life. However, a lot ofdistur-bance avoiding the robot's activities exists in such an environment, and it is still hard for robots to overcome them. Universal Design with Robots has been proposed to cope with these problems in our daily life environment. Interface designs for mobility, handling, and image processing are especially considered as basic technologies of“Universal Design with Robots” (UDRobTM) . Conceptual design of the robot system based on UDRob has been created and shown here.
Humans always sway their body when they are standing. Since the swaying is natural for human, they are not conscious of the swaying. However, today, almost all robots are designed to reduce the swaying to ensure stabilities. If communication robots can control the swaying appropriately, it might help humans to anthropomorphize the robot. In this paper, we evaluate how the swaying of a humanoid robot affects human swaying and their impressions. We measured human and robot's neck movement and asked them to answer a questionnaire after the experiments. We discovered that human swaying and impressions were affected by the robot's swaying. Human swaying is always observed whenever communications are performed. In order to apply the swaying to humanoid robots, we only use wheel control. Additionally, we can make the robot's swaying and do other actions on their upper bodies. So the result of this paper will explain how to make robots' swaying.
This paper proposes a controller for the cooperative task of 3-dimensional (3D) snake robots which have wheeled links with no side slip. We assume that the snake robot moves on a flat surface. First, we consider features of the kinematic redundancy caused by introducing wheelless links and derive a dynamic model of a 3D snake robot with introducing the shape controllable points for parameterizing its kinematic redundancy. Next, we extend it to the model for the cooperative transportation task of the robots and propose a controller which accomplishes this task by controlling internal forces and utilizing the redundancy. Simulation results show the validity of the proposed controller.
This paper describes the development of a novel laparoscope manipulator using the medical linear actuators, called P-arm. The manipulator is composed of a Stewart-cough Platform with six degrees of freedom and six hydraulic linear actuators, and can hold a general laparoscope. In the current prototype, the position of a laparoscope can be controlled through a joystick interface. To evaluate the performance of this newly developed manipulator, an experiment was conducted in which a surgeon used the manipulator to perform an in-vitro laparoscopic cholecys-tectomy simulation. As a result, the manipulator could replace a human assistant during the operation. The arm part of the manipulator is lightweight (approximately 580 [g] ), compact, producible at a low price, and sterilized. Therefore, the manipulator can be manufactured as a disposable item. This new concept produces the following excellent characteristics. First, it does not obstruct the surgeon's operation. Second, setting the manipulator in the medical treatment site is easy. Finally, the manipulator need not be maintained.
Authors have been conducting the research on the unmanned pile loading operation by an automated wheel loader, “Yamazumi-4.”The system is a fully self-contained autonomous system. The unmanned wheel loader has various sensors to measure the self-position, the position of pile, and the position of the dump truck to be loaded. After path planning according to the positions of the pile, the truck, and loader itself, the path following control guarantees the total task completion consists of targeting the pile, scooping the pile, carrying a bucket of pile to the truck, loading the pile to the truck, and re-going to the pile. For the accurate positioning control, RTK GPS and Moving Base GPS systems are combined to the dead reckoning based on the virtual dual wheel vehicle model. The dead reckoning calculated by the wheel velocity and steering angles can not avoid accumulating the positioning errors. Although lower rate Moving Base RTK GPS system supplies more accurate global position and heading direction data, they contain time delay. Authors developed the algorithm to detect the time delay of the GPS data by comparing to the recent dead reckoning data and to re-calculate the current position and direction from GPS data. The path following feedback system is developed to follow the line part and the curve part in the planned path. The planned curve part consists of a pair of the symmetric psuedo clothoid curves. For the sure loading task, the path following control is switched to the bucket tip position control helped by the laser range finders. In the scooping task, bucket control is switched by the reaction force measured by the hydraulic pressure sensor. Totally the whole tasks were well controlled and completed.
This paper proposes a motion control method of mechanical systems utilizing adaptive stiffness optimization for energy saving. The controlled systems in this paper are assumed to have linear dynamics and to have adjustable stiffness devices. To realize the energy saving control systems even when desired motions include multi frequency component, a new stiffness optimization concept similar to resonance is proposed. We mathematically prove the effects of the stiffness optimization and stability of the controlled systems. The proposed method can achieve trajectory tracking with high accuracy and reduce energy from actuators as much as possible. An advantage of the proposed method is that the controller works well without using parameters of the controlled systems. Simulation results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method.
This paper describes a new adaptive filter algorithm based on independent component analysis (ICA) for enhancing a target sound and for suppressing other interference sounds that are known. The technique can provide barge-in capable robot audition systems by utilizing known sound source signals such as self speech. Unlike a conventional ICA-based method, we use the time-frequency domain convolution model to cope with reflections of the sound. Experimental results showed that our method outperformed the conventional ICA-based method and the well-known adaptive filter algorithm called Nomalized Least Mean Squares (LMS) .
We have been tackled action recognition system design for a real world robot in a constructive approach. We have proposed the integrated system that shares knowledge-base between action and recognition. In this paper, we focus on a knowledge based object recognition system. Our system enables navigate attention to a visual search area, view prediction based recognition, robust recognition with multi-cue integration and time-series stochastic filter. Developed object recognition system is able to recognize both self location and object location by means of knowledge-base information, so that it is able to apply to humanoid tasks that contain both manipulation and locomotion. Finally, we showed a daily environment tasks consists of tea pouring, cup carrying and wash dishing in order to evaluate an availability of proposed shared knowledge-based action recognition system and object recognition method.
This paper describes design and implementation of ART-Linux 2.6 for single CPU that is modified from Linux 2.6 kernel. This realtime operating system provides realtime (periodic) task execution system call in user space. In order to achieve predictable latency for wakeup, following mechanisms are introduced: (1) mutual-exclusive execution realized by virtual processor number, (2) transfer queue to avoid mutex-locked mutual-exclusive execution, (3) multi-level priority inversion function. Therefore, user can utilize entire system calls, user space libraries, as well as device drivers. Experimental results with our humanoid robot HRP-2 No.12 and future work are also denoted.
This paper presents the disaster prevention and mitigation system using a small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) . Immediate assessments of damage information and continuous collection of information for constructing a revival plan are important for damage mitigation when natural disasters such as huge earthquakes occur. In this study, we divide the period that follows a natural disaster on the basis of three processes, and propose the use of the small UAV for gathering information in such situations. The field experiments were conducted to evaluate the proposed system employing the small UAV. From the results of our experiments, it can be concluded that the small UAV system is effective for disaster prevention and mitigation.
In order to clarify and understand hazards lurking in playground equipment, visualization of the hazard is effective way. Therefore, we developed a method to construct hazard maps of playground equipment, calculated from simulations, by using computer models of children falling on a playground slide. This method makes it possible to understand the hazards of playground equipment easily. Full-body multi-body models of children, based on Japanese data, were constructed. The hazard map of a playground slide was constructed to provide an example of possible hazard maps of playground equipment. Simulations of children falling on the playground slide were carried out by using both the multi-body models for children and the playground slide models, which were constructed from CAD data of an actual slide. The calculated head injury hazard values were mapped on the playground slide model so as to easily identify hazards. As the results, the maps made it possible to understand easily that the hazard varies greatly due to initial falling position on the spiral staircase and also children ages.
This paper describes the estimation algorithm of the road condition. This algorithm is formulated based on Interacting Multiple Model (IMM) algorithm. Ten system modes are modeled according to the road friction. Changes of the ten system modes are also modeled as switching from one mode to another in a probabilistic manner. The mode probabilities and friction coefficient are estimated based on Extended Kalman Filter (EKF) .This algorithm is applied for estimating road friction from experimental data. Estimation results show that the algorithm is effective in the estimation of road friction.
We propose a new framework for visual control of motile cells in three-dimensional (3-D) space. Our goal is to utilize microorganisms as micro-robots in various applications. This requires two elements; noncontact and noninvasive actuation, and precise measurement in 3-D space. In our framework, galvanotaxis (locomotor response to electrical stimulus) is used to actuate and 3-D tracking of swimming cells is used to measure. Experimental results for closed-loop motion control of Paramecium cells in the 3-D space demonstrate the effectiveness of proposed framework and the possibility of using microorganisms as micromachines.
A novel on-chip environment measurement with functional gel-tool was developed. Environment measurement gel-tool was fabricated by connecting the gel-microbeads impregnated with indicators in a microchip. In this paper, Bromothymol blue (BTB) and Bromocresol green (BCG) were employed as pH indicators. BTB and BCG have the different indicator range. Rhodamine B is temperature sensitive fluorescent dye and is used for temperature measurement. Gel-microbead is made by salting-out of hydrophilic photo-crosslinkable resin and is manipulated by optical tweezers. Moreover, gel-microbead is polymerized by UV illumination. The connection of gel-microbeads is performed by contact of gel-microbeads under UV illumination in an electrolyte solution of a certain concentration. Multiple environments measurement gel-tool included with several indicators is realized by assembly of the gel-microbeads impregnated with different indicators. This technique can be employed for compensation of the dependence of the indicator on environment except for the target environment. Environment measurement is performed by detecting the color and the fluorescence intensity of each gel-microbead. We succeeded in the on-chip fabrication of the environment measurement gel-tools such as wide range pH measurement gel-tool and pH and temperature measurement gel-tool in a microchip.
This paper presents hybrid (hardware in the loop) simulation of orbital operations by a space robot, and discusses a way to capture a spinning satellite using a dual-arm space robot. The orbital operations by a space robot, such as capturing a target object, involve collision between the hands and the object. It is difficult to numerically simulate complicated phenomena at the collision in general. The hybrid simulation is known as a useful method to verify the orbital operations having such complicated phenomena. The hybrid simulation is basically software simulation, replacing its part of numerical model by a hardware model, which contains complicated structure and motion. Firstly, a system architecture of the hybrid simulator is presented and a strategy for capturing a rotating object by a dual-arm space robot is discussed. Secondly, hybrid simulation of capturing a rotating object by a dual-arm space robot is performed to evaluate the proposed strategy. Finally, an experimental result of the hybrid simulation is presented, and effectiveness of the proposed strategy is verified.
There are some 600 mine shafts, called “mabus, ” in Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine. Most of mabus have not been well investigated because some dangers such as cave-in and lack of oxygen have prevented one from entering them. In this research, we have focused on the two mabus whose names are the first mabu and the 82nd mabu respectively. Each of them has distinct characteristics. The first mabus is one of the oldest mabus, which is said to have been mined in the late 16th century. The 82nd mabu is located in Kamaya mabu area, which was discovered and mined in Edo era, the heyday of the Silver Mine. We have developed a six-wheel robot for the first mabu and a crawler type robot for the 82nd mabu. Each robot mounts a video camera to get interior image of the mabus. In addition, the crawler robot equips with a laser range sensor to get interior shape data of the mabu. As the results of the actual investigation, we have successfully unveiled the interior structure of these two mabus. We have also found that the result of our investigation coincides with some old records in terms of mining age and method.
We have developed a new concept vehicle system for narrow section inspection of a nuclear power plant. We call this system as the tandem underwater vehicle system which consists of a small inspection ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle), and support ROV which supports the inspection ROV moving. The support ROV needs the hovering control system which consists of detection sensors for a position and an attitude angle. In this system, the self position is detected by the light sectioning method and the image correlating method. As a result of evaluation examination, a position could be detected within 0.05 [m] and an attitude angle could be detected with a less than 5-degree error. Moreover, in the conditions of water flow velocity 0.1 [m/s], it confirmed that it could hover less than 0.03 [m] using the hovering controls function. As mentioned above, it was shown that a tandem underwater vehicle system is useful.
This paper describes a painting robot with multi-fingered hands and stereo vision. The goal of this study is for the robot to reproduce the whole procedure involved in human painting. A painting action is divided into three phases: obtaining a 3D model, composing a picture model, and painting by a robot. In this system, various feedback techniques including computer vision and force sensors are used. As experiments, an apple and a human silhouette are painted on a canvas using this system.
Recently, according with advances in robotics, many studies on symbiosis between human and robot have been performed. However, this research paradigm is difficult to solve only from engineering view point. Therefore, we apply animal psychological approach to this paradigm. The purpose of our study is to clarify basic framework of symbiosis between animals and robots through interaction experiments between a rat and a robot. In the previous experiments, we succeed in conditioning the rat to approach the robot using “operant conditioning.” We then developed a stimulus presentation device that consists of AC motors and gantry frame to investigate effects of robot's body on rats' behavior. This devise provides a spotlight stimulus on the open field and make it move as fast as the robot. We then conditioned the rat to approach the spotlight stimulus. In this paper, comparison between the experiment with the robot and that with the spotlight stimulus is described.
In this paper, we propose the attitude estimation algorithm under the dynamic acceleration environment. Generally, an attitude sensor has biaxial or triaxial accelerometer in order to measure the direction of gravity. In this configration, the attitude sensor has serious error under the dynamic acceleration environment, because of the measurement error of gravity that is caused by the dynamic acceleration. When we put the attitude sensor on a movable body like an UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle), this kind of error is fatal for the sensor. So, we apply the extended kalman filter algorithm to reduce the estimation error. Firstly, we derive the process model for the kalman filter which is based on quaternion kinematics. Secondly, we design the extended kalman filter by using the process model. Lastly, we show the simulation and experiment result of the estimation algorithm.
This paper is concerned with the human-robot system such as power assist system based on the position-controlbased impedance control (admittance control) . The system has two force inputs from the operator and the environment, which may cause the vibratory behavior when the robot comes in contact with the environment. It is because the operational force and the contact force do not balance due to the noise, error, delay and so on. This paper proposes the admittance control with two inputs that achieves steady contact with an environment by modifying the contact force information. The effectiveness of the proposed method is demonstrated through several experiments.
MAV (Micro Air Vehicle) will be very effective for gathering information in dangerous area or narrow space.In that case, autonomous control is essential. This paper is concerned with autonomous control of small co-axial helicopter: X.R.B. Horizontal acceleration is decided by force from lower rotor and upper rotor. Direction of the force is decided by angle of rotation surface of lower rotor, upper rotor and stabilizer. Therefore the model which physical meaning of parameter is clear can be constructed. Control system is constructed by LQI controller and Kalman filter using the model. Good control performance is achieved by experiment. 3D position of X.R.B is measured by using stereo vision camera and 3-axis attitude is measured by small attitude sensor.
Mechano-bionic micro tool is a fusion of the micro mechanical components with the bionic systems. Mechanical output from mechano-bionic system could be caused by combination of multiple functions via artificial and bionic components. In this study, we demonstrated muscular cells driven micro tweezers-like structure with artificial three-dimensional micro/nano structure as a mechano-bionic system. We employed structural depend movements for the tweezers with precise three-dimensional micro scaffold to control principal movement without complex molecular biological cellular differentiation and adhesion techniques. The asymmetric inner structure with isometric stiffness could work for guide structure such as joints and skeleton. Focused ion beam technique for three-dimensional fabrication was employed to manufacture biocompatible three-dimensional scaffold on dog's body hair. Skeletal myoblast of rat primary culture were attached on the rapid prototyped structures, and the cells successfully differentiated to myotubes. The deformation of the manipulator was not enough, however the micro structure was driven by muscular contraction due to electrical stimulation. This study was the first trial to realize endoskeletal mechanical micro system using the asymmetric three-dimensional structure.
In this paper, the development of humanoid robot HRP-3 is presented. HRP-3 is a human-size humanoid robot developed as the succeeding model of HRP-2 and stands for Humanoid Robotics Platform-3. One of features of HRP-3 is that its main mechanical and structural components are designed to prevent the penetration of dust or spray. Another is that its wrist and hand are newly designed to improve manipulation. Software for a humanoid robot in a real environment is also improved. We also include information on mechanisms preventing the penetration of dust or splash together with the cooling system, the newly developed hand, and specifications of HRP-3. Some demonstration results using HRP-3 are also presented.
Here we propose a bioactuator using an insect dorsal vessel (heart muscle) tissue which can drive autonomously at room temperature for a long term. Living muscle cells have been attracted much interest as an actuator because a muscle tissue is totally superior to artificial muscles. Previously reported bioactuators using mammalian heart muscle cells require precise environmental control to keep cells alive and contracting. On the other hand, an insect tissue is robust compared to mammalian cells; they can grow at room temperature for a long term without medium replacement. In this paper, we succeeded in driving micropillars by the dorsal vessel tissue for more than 90 days. The strongest displacement was 23 [μm] . Based on the results of displacement, the driving force was estimated 4.7 [μN] . The definite displacements more than 10 [μm] were observed for 58 days from the 15th day to the 72nd day. Therefore, the life cycle can be calculated at 7.5×105 times as the average frequency was about 0.15 [Hz] . These results suggest that the insect heart tissue is more promising material for a bioactuator at room temperature compared with the other biological cell based actuators.
The purpose of this study is to develop a sheet-like curved type pneumatic rubber muscle and the power assist wear to assist an activity of daily living of aged or disabled person. In view of using the power assist wear in daily life, it is required to have compact, light-weight and flexibility. The developed sheet-liked curved type pneumatic rubber muscle is made of rubber band, and it has a high affinity for human skin. In this paper, the characteristics and the effectiveness of the sheet-liked curved type pneumatic rubber muscle and the developed power assist wear are described.
Magnetic adsorption device is one of the important technological elements which will be used for many part of the robot industries, and it might especially be used for the wall climbing robots or devices on iron wall. But, there exists some practical problems. One of the most important ones is the tendency to decrease the adsorptive force when it have to stick to the uneven iron wall such as the wall with rivets and welding parts. This paper propose a new magnetic device which will produce large magnetic adsorption force even though the surface of the iron wall is not flat. It consists of array of permanent magnets and steady yokes with multiple holes, and movable yokes are installed inside the holes of the steady yokes. The newly introduced magnetic device has following features: (1) new force balancing array of the permanent magnets, (2) partially located movable yokes, and (3) edge arrangement of the steady yoke to reduce unbalancing force to the movable yokes. We also introduced a locking mechanism for the movable yokes to increase the adsorption force on uneven iron wall. We made experiments of these newly introduced magnetic devices and shown that the device can greatly increase the magnetic adsorption force even on uneven iron wall.
Roller-Walker is a leg-wheel hybrid mobile robot using a passive wheel equipped on the tip of each leg. The passive wheel can be transformed into sole mode by rotating ankle roll joint when Roller-Walker walks on rough terrain. This paper describes adaptation of characteristics of the propulsion by a leg trajectory in the case of wheeled locomotion. Firstly, we define a leg trajectory to produce forward straight propulsion and discuss the relationships between the parameters of the leg trajectory and the characteristics of the propulsion. Secondly, we demonstrate that Roller-Walker could achieve high speed propulsion and slope climbing propulsion by changing the parameters of the leg trajectory in the hardware experiment. Thirdly, we propose an automatic leg trajectory adaptation method which is asymptotical parameter tuning method to perform specified velocity on the different surfaces with different friction. We evaluate the adaptation method in the numerical simulations. The results suggest that this adaptation method would provide the Roller-Walker with a function of an automatic transmission of a usual car.
This paper presents a new mechanism for artificial fingers. It enables adduction/abduction of the MP joint in addition to the synergetic flexion/extension of the DIP, PIP and MP joints. The key mechanism is the newly invented double planetary gear system (DPGS) that allows three DOF motions of the finger in a compact placement of all actuators in a palm. The DPGS receives two input torques; one is an active torque coming from DC-motors, which drives solar gears, the other is a passive torque around the carrier of the planetary gears generated by a spring. This active/passive hybrid actuation enables to grip unknown shape objects with no sensory feedback. This paper describes the kinematics and the kinetics of the newly developed mechanism followed by the kinetics of pinching the object by two-fingers. It also shows the results of a couple of experiments. Additionally, we show a new mechanical design aiming for constructing a multi-fingered hand.
Organic ferroelectrics such as poly (vinylidene fluoride) [PVDF] and its copolymer with trifluoroethylene [P (VDF/TrFE) ] are promising materials that could be used as tactile sensors due to their attractive features. However, it is difficult to fabricate well-ordered polymer films with a nanoscale thickness because polymers naturally have mixed structures of both crystalline and amorphous phases. vinylidene fluoride (VDF) oligomer is a new substance with a smaller number of VDF units and lower molecular weight than PVDF, and has the largest reported remanent polarization among organic ferroelectrics. Therefore, the piezoelectric effect of VDF oligomer was evaluated with a view to its application as a new tactile sensor. The piezoelectric coefficient of VDF oligomer was found to be greater than that of P (VDF/TrFE) copolymer, and a film composed of VDF oligomer was thin and uniform. These results confirm that VDF oligomer is a promising ferroelectric material for use in tactile sensors.