Personal robots and service robotics are expected as the next applicable fields of the robotics. Wheel typed robots have the large advantage of mobility and energy consumption rate on the flat floor, and humanoid robots have an advantage of mobility over the ditch, steps, and stairs. As a realistic hybrid solution, four wheeled and four legged flexible personal robot is designed. This robot is expected to follow a person or people in the various places where they walk around mainly indoors including flat floors, different leveled floors, slopes, and stairs. It has the tri-camera stereo vision system to recognize the mobile environments. This paper describes on the motion control to stride over a small step on a flat floor. The robot moves by four wheels on the flat floor and uses legged motion to avoid the step. The correlation-based stereo recognition method and the segment-based stereo recognition method are integrated to recognize the step and the floor and to divide them in order to make a smooth motion. Robot succeeded to recognize the step on the floor and to stride over it.
We have developed an autonomous robot carrying heavy product containers, to be used in the medicine factory. In this environment, its workspace is narrow and the robot has to negotiate between existing machines and instruments. It is also necessary for the robot to comply with strict GMP standards defined by Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, Japan for medicine production. The paper proposes a new navigation method using both vision and magnetic tags, rather than conventional magnetic rails on the floor. The robot tows product containers on a cart, and transfers them between a packer and a palettizer for wrapping, according to the instruction given by the process controller system via infrared communication. The robot runs on defined paths by detecting either a tape on the ceiling by vision, or magnetic field generated by small magnetic tags buried on the floor. The proposed method can achieve precision equivalent to the conventional method with magnetic tapes, and requires less initial installation costs. Three robots have worked in a medicine factory for more than a year without causing a single interruption in the manufacturing process, achieving improved production efficiency, lowered production costs, with fewer workers attending the production line than before.
Authors had suggested the “Construction Waste Divide and Select System by a Next-generation Manipulator” in order to improve work efficiency, safety and recycling rate of building demolition, also developed element technologies. This paper shows contents of development technologies, “Next-generation Manipulator”, “Handling Planning System”and shows function and performance of those. A result of field tests and effectiveness of these technologies based on a test result are also explained.
Verification of safety-related systems based on safety standards are important for realizing safe human-coexisting robots. We have proposed UML modeling and an object-oriented approach to develop safety-related systems which is categorized by an international safety standard of system safety. In this study, we presented the verification of safety-related systems including hardware, such as emergency stop systems including safety relays and safety switches, using the formal methods to verify their robustness against failures, which is encouraged to apply for software verification by an international safety standard of functional safety.
The non-industry robot technology is becoming in pre-spread stage. In this paper, we clarify requirements of the robot service platform for pre-spread and spread stage. And we have developed RSNP 2.0 specification to resolve these requirements, by (1) a secure push-communication for robot with limited resource and/or fewer operators, (2) an efficient packaging technology for robot services used in public spaces, and (3) an integration of robot and sensors/cameras of different robot platforms. Finally, we have proved the effectiveness of our proposed RSNP 2.0 through a proof of concept implementation.
This paper proposes the concept of R-GIS, which is a geographic information system (GIS) for providing robots with environmental information. A GIS is capturing, storing, managing and presenting geographic information, and is used for various applications such as urban planning, agriculture, emergency response. In order to use a GIS for with robots, R-GIS is designed from two viewpoints. The first one is how to manage and present environmental information for robot planning. The second one is how to capture and store environmental information sensed by robots and sensors in the environment. In addition, we briefly show the system configuration of R-GIS, trends around GIS in Japan and an experimental field for R-GIS.
This paper describes the on-demand patient service system which uses RFID tags and a wheelchair robot in medical facilities. In this system, the robot can identify a patient and obtain his/her diagnosis schedule by the RFID tag in his/her registration card. According to the schedule, the robot can carry the patient to his/her target examination room. To construct this system, we employ the idea of the intelligent environment, called “Robot Town”. Many sensors are distributed in Robot Town, and robots can easily move and work by using the sensors. We executed a proving experiment with our system under the scenario that assumed an outpatient came to the unfamiliar and large medical facility. In addition, to evaluate our system, we executed the questionnaire survey to nurses. As the result of survey, we know that their expected points are an improvement of the daily work efficiency, safe transportation of patients and an improvement of an amenity level in a hospital. And, we also know that their worried points are safety of the robots, the abilities of detection to the unexpected emergency situations, costs and difficulties of maintenance of systems, and responsibilities in case of accidents.
This paper proposes the modeling of longitudinal driving behavior based on urban driving data of micro electric vehicle. First, the urban driving data is collected by on-road experiments using continuous sensing drive recorder equipped in the micro electric vehicle. Next, the pedal operation for longitudinal vehicle control is divided into several modes. Therefore, the driver model is formulated by setting up the input-output relationship of each operation mode and each mode switching based on the collected naturalistic urban driving database. The driver model parameters are identified and the validity of the driver model is verified. Finally, the synthesized driver model is used for detecting hurry driving by comparison between the model-based estimated and the measured pedal operation in hurry driving situation.
It was clarified that energy-efficient dynamic bipedal walking can be achieved by effectively applying the principle of passive dynamic walking. Approaches based on virtual gravity are typical methods for generating efficient level dynamic gait. These methods, however, had the problem that the specified control input includes a singular point which causes complicated motion. This paper then proposes a new method, which is termed as the pseudo virtual passive dynamic walking, to solve this problem. We first formulate the basic method for a planar underactuated biped model with an upper body by introducing the concept of pseudo center of mass. We also consider to inhibit swing-leg retraction by constraining the impact posture to achieve the maximum efficiency condition. In addition, we discovered that the constraint on impact posture strongly extends the stable domain and improves the convergence speed to the steady gait through numerical simulations. We report the detailed analysis results and theoretically investigate how the constraint affects the gait properties.
An online reference shaping which achieves robust motor servo control is proposed. It features an integral compensator which has an anti-windup function with an automatic reset scheme. A complete software implementation frees the system from any extra equipments to monitor if the motor input is saturated. Hence, the method is easy to use, is widely applicable, and works even on unsophisticated embedded PD controllers. The proposed controller is examined on a small anthropomorphic robot, where the dynamical model is hardly identified.
In this paper, a new haptic device “DELTA-4” within a high force feedback capability and operability is proposed. DELTA-4 realizes 3 degrees of freedom of translational motions by a novel redundant parallel link mechanism. These benefits can be obtained by DELTA-4 comparing with conventional parallel mechanisms: wider working area, smaller footprint and easier access to the wide range of working area from operators. In this paper, kinematics and its analysis of DELTA-4 are introduced. In addition, an evaluation experiment of force display is presented.
It is important to evaluate the motor recovery effect of the amputee caused by using myoelectric hand from multiple evaluation criteria. In this paper, we evaluate amputee’s motor recovery by using adaptable myoelectric hand from the standpoint of brain function and clinical practice. As a result, we clarified that robust control ability of prosthetic hand activates the activity of the primary motor cortex, and the substitute function of the body provided by the myoelectric hand realizes the motor recovery as close to healthy person’s body function.
In this study, we propose a leg-robot with an MR clutch to realize virtual haptic control for spastic movements of brain-injured patients. This system works for practical training for trainees of physical therapy. Additionally, we will study to figure out the physiological mechanism of spastic movements of human with the process to simulate patient-like spastic motion by this robot. In this paper, basic structure and mechanism of the leg-robot with the MR clutch are explained. Finally, experimental results of haptic control for ankle clonus are described.
This paper presents a development of a novel traction and transfer mobile robot with omni-directional platform. In the environment where there are moving obstacles like human, the transfer robot has to arrive at the goal safely with a product. To solve this problem, the translation velocity and the rotation velocity are controlled independently. The translation velocity is decided based on the multi time scale behavior control method to avoid moving obstacles and the rotation velocity is decided based on the path direction. This method focuses attention on differences of time scales among problems that a robot confronts and is concretized through a modification of the virtual potential field method. For each problem having a time scale, the corresponding module is constructed and virtual potential field is generated. Virtual force calculated from each potential field is used for generating the velocity command. In this paper, this obstacle avoidance algorithm and a way to mount this algorithm on an autonomous omni-directional mobile robot with a scanner range sensor are described. To verify the effectiveness of the proposed method, the experiments of avoiding human using a robot with an omni-directional platform and a Laser Range Finder (LRF) were carried out.
This paper describes the development of an adaptive control system for an outdoor mobile robot. The adaptive control system is composed of an environment recognition system using a self-organizing map and hybrid-neural network controllers based on neural networks. The environment recognition system can recognize the environment in which the robot travels and can switch the hybrid-neural network controller. The hybrid-neural network controllers are tuned by experimental results for each environment. To evaluate the performance of target tracking and vibration suppression, an experiment using the wheeled mobile robot, “Zaurus”, was conducted in rough terrain. As a result, our proposed method could show less oscillatory motion in rough terrain and performed better than a well tuned PID controller.