As technology advances in robotics, studies of assistive robots and service robots are actively conducted, aiming at practical use of them. Occasions for demonstration experiments increases accordingly, however, awareness of protection of subjects is not enough. This may bring risks to the subjects. Therefore, ethical reviews by Institutional Review Board become more and more important. In this paper, framework of ethical review process and subject protection in developing assistive robots for care-giving is described with an example of the study of the excretion care robot “Toilet-Assist,” where the subjects in the demonstration experiment were different from the people involved from the ethical viewpoint.
In this paper, we analyze a human pinching motion based on biomechanics for the quantification system of a product usability. We compare three experimental results to analyze the relationship between the deep sensation and subjective pinching effort. First, the surface EMG and the pinching force were measured during the pinching motion by a human. Questionnaire results show that subjects feel easy to pinch a cylinder of 60[mm] length. Experimental results show the profile of the surface EMGs reflects the human subjective pinching effort. Second, the pinching motion was simulated using the tendon skeletal model that mimics the variation of human joint moment arm. Simulation results show that the profile of the tendon forces has similar characteristics to that of the human muscle activity. These result suggest the finger posture influences the subjective pinching effort. Furthermore, a tendon-driven robot hand was developed as a sensing hand prototype. The motor torques and the human muscle activity were compared in a pinching experiment using the tendon-driven robot hand. Experimental results show the profile of the motor torques mirrors the human muscle activity. These results show that the tendon force is a useful index for the evaluation of the subjective pinching effort, and it can be used for the quantitative evaluation instead of EMGs.
In order to prevent the accident of transmission lines, it is effective to analyze the accident cause and to reflect it on maintenances of facilities. In this paper, a method for monitoring of the galloping motion of transmission lines is studied. First of all, survey of Kalman filter techniques which is applied for attitude determination of space satellite is conducted. Secondly, taking these techniques into account, a sensor system to observe the attitude motion of transmission lines which is equipped on phase-to-phase spacer and consists of two angular velocity sensors and a two-axes slant sensor is considered. Then, Euler angles to describe attitude motion between body-fixed coordinate system and inertia coordinate system are defined. Using these angles, an extended Kalman filter algorithm for the estimation of attitude motion is derived and described. In addition to this, several performance experiments are conducted, and it is confirmed that the Kalman filter algorithm can estimate exact attitude motion which cannot measure enough with each sensor. As the result, this system is suggested as the optimal sensor system to observe the attitude motion of transmission lines.
In this study, a bilateral type pneumatic wearable master-slave device has been developed in order to feed back a force information to the trainer. Developed device is constructed with a master and a slave device using pneumatic rubber muscles. By feeding back the reaction torque to a torque control system of the master device, a master device user can feel the reaction torque from the slave. In this paper, the structure of the developed device, the fundamental characteristics of device are discussed, and then the validity of the developed device is evaluated from the fundamental experiments.
When a legged-robot walks on an irregular terrain such as a stricken area, some footholds may be collapsed by an external force that caused by the walking robot, and consequently the robot stumbles and falls. In this study we propose locomotion method that will not cause large collapse of the environment while the robot walks on the weak area. First, we define the weak environment that has possibility to collapse the field, then a strategy to walk on the weak environment is shown. Next, the condition of center of gravity of the robot and the leg-grope sequence is derived based on statics. Furthermore, experimental results to verify the proposed method are shown by using a quadruped legged-robot.
The objective of this study is to develop a master-slave system for a catheter-guided operation, which is performed by using radiology, through the vascular system. When the master-slave system is used, the surgeon is not exposed to x-rays during the operation. The master tool is managed by an operator away from the slave tool, which is near the patient. The system must provide a realistic picture to the surgeon, particularly in term of force information because this operation is performed by observing three-dimensional fields on a two-dimensional monitor. In this paper, we describe the development of a master slave system that involves the use of force-rate control for guiding the catheter without using force sensors. The master tool has a force-display function. This system can be controlled by force and velocity controlling; hence, this system realized an innovative mechanism and algorism. Finally, the preliminary experiment indicated that the new control method was effective. Further, the force display was stable and achieved fast response.
This paper proposes a new locomotion algorithm of narrow scaffold. We have developed a limb-mechanism robot. The limb can move on a large working area, it can be used as an arm and a leg. ASTERISK Robot system has six limbs that radiate out in six directions. This robot system has the rotational symmetry, therefore, the posture is equivalent even if the robot body rotates. By using this feature, we propose a new movement algorithm “rotational gait” that the robot rotates like a wheel. The rotational gait can be applied to the robot that hanging on a cable, moving on narrow shelf of a cliff, and walking in a narrow space by the same algorithm. The operation and effectiveness of these algorithms were verified by the experiment. The movement algorithm is easy pattern operation that keeps stable state at all periods. And the robot can move without doing a high-speed real-time processing.