It is one of the challenging topics to realize agile motions like living animals with legged robots. Their variously advanced motions are achieved using their flexible musculoskeletal structures which are able to store and reuse energy effectively. In order to realize such performances by a robot, it is desirable that the robot body has energy storage and release capacity. In this paper, we develop a legged robot inspired by animals' structures using elastic components and a motion control method for the biologically inspired legged robot to achieve maximum jumping height. The robot leg consists of one elastic linkage which realizes the flexibility in the bi-articular muscle-tendon complex that plays important roles in dynamic motions of feline animals. The vertical jumping motion trajectory has been optimized to maximize the jumping height using a nonlinear optimization simulation. The jumping experiments have been performed based on the planned motion trajectory using the prototype of the legged robot, and the result shows the proposed bio-inspired mechanism contributed to its jumping performance.
Since the establishment of the National Institute of Technology, Akita College 53 years ago, it has permitted students to choose one course among four in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Department of Applied Chemical, or Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. However, students have been able to enter a desired course after admission after a large comprehensive entrance system was introduced in fiscal year 2017. During the first year, all students take the Creative Systems Engineering course and finish the same curriculum for one year. Through this sweeping change, during the second year and thereafter, each student will be able to choose a course independently from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Department of Electrical and Information Engineering, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, and Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture. For this reason, we trained all first-year students in robot and 3D CAD education, which is the main theme of the Robotics Course, to choose one course after completing the first year. The contents of the education are industrial robots, mobile trace robots, humanoid robots and 3D CAD. Therefore, we trained students about the methods of operation using the four. At the completion of the training, we compiled reports and administered a questionnaire. The questionnaire results demonstrate that it became clear that students in lower grades thought that learning about robots and 3D CAD was important, and were actively working on classes.
We developed a prototype of hydraulically driven tough robot hand having 4 fingers. This hand is designed as an attachment of the lower arm of the ImPACT dual arm Construction Robot. The feature of this hand is a simple structure and a simple control system which has only one pressure sensor, and 6 valves. The hand can operates not only as a hand but also as a bucket. We conducted evaluation tests in the Robot Test Filed in Fukushima Prefecture. In this paper is presented the outline of this hand and its test results.