In recent years, underwater research and marine development have been accelerated in worldwide, and human resource development has become an issue in the industrial world. Japanese high schools, universities, etc. do not have any institutions that provide basic education on practical underwater equipment, and there are few textbooks. In addition, in biological and natural science faculties and departments, the content of education is limited to how to use underwater equipment, and there are few opportunities to learn development and maintenance. However, many of these graduates who have jobs in the marine industry are faced with on-site equipment maintenance and repair. It takes time and money to develop human resources to learn how to handle underwater equipment from zero base, which may cause a delay in the competition in the world. Therefore, we have developed a learning kit that allows you to learn from the basics how to handle underwater equipment.
We have developed a small tidal power generator prototype to realize low-flow velocity power generation in the ocean. Then, we demonstrated verification-experiments of the low-flow velocity power generation using the small tidal power generator, in cooperation with Aomori Prefectural Office and the cooperation of fishery union members of Sotogahama fishery cooperative Tairadate branch at offshore of Tairadate; the local community of living the place understands and cooperates with our project. With the proposed generator and measurement system, we could continuously generate electricity under the sea for one month without maintenance and collect the experiments' logs. Then, by pulling up the system every month, replacing the battery and cleaning water turbine blade and the system, we could conduct a tidal current power generation experiment for three months. From the results of the power generation experiment using the developed experimental equipment in the tidal current, it is verified that the amount of power generation can be estimated from the flow velocity. Besides, we considered the feasibility of the proposed power-generation device.
Planetary exploration is being used to expand human habitation areas with the development of science and technology. The surface of the planet is covered with loose soil called regolith, and has many slopes such as craters. As the rover travels across these terrains, skidding occurs. If this skidding is not controlled, the rover will deviate from its planned target path. In the worst case scenario, the rover will be unable to travel due to the wheels being buried in the ground. Therefore, high performance in Crossing slopes is required for wheeled rovers. This study proposes a rover with high driving performance on a slope using four-wheel Inching Locomotion. This method for running uses the sinking performance of the wheels to take advantage of the increased bearing capacity. First, we consider the sinking performance of a wheel and propose a method of driving using this performance. Second, we verify the effectiveness of the sinking performance through an experiment to drive a rover equipped with a wheel moving mechanism. Finally, we use attitude change to increase effectiveness of sinking performance and suppress skidding.
As for the procedure of replacing the cable for overhead distribution lines, methods without laying the construction rope on the road are required. It is expected to utilize a rope traction device (RTD) as one of the methods. But in some cases, this method cannot be conducted due to the lack of driving performance of RTD. So we focused on the improvement of the driving performance of RTD used on the distribution lines. We observed the behavior of the moving RTD and modeled RTD moving on the cable of the distribution lines while towing the rope. Using the model, we showed the effect of improving the driving performance by pressing force between wheels of RTD and the cable. The validity of the pressing force was shown in the experiment.
Although the development of service robots has been flourishing, they have not yet reached a large market. In this study, we have investigated network coordination of various service robots to meet more requirements. Focusing on the ease of implementation for networking various existing robots with a common communication protocol RSNP, we proposed and developed a unit system for this purpose and used it to demonstrate the operation and management of more than 30 robots at the 2019 International Robot Exhibition. This paper reports on the developed unit and demonstration experiments.