A mobile robot used in homes and offices are required to be able to move around without getting stuck in an environment with various obstacles such as people and furniture, in addition, not to hurt or damage them if it strikes against them. A robot with a spherical body is an effective means to fulfill these requirements. In this study, such a spherical mobile robot that drives a spherical shell with an internal drive unit and can move in all directions is considered. The authors' have proposed a spherical mobile robot driven by an internal unit with three omni-wheels in the past studies. First, this paper describes the structure of a newly developed experimental spherical mobile robot of the proposed scheme employing three omni-wheels in a specific layout. Second, a kinematic model is derived so that the internal unit can transmit the driving force without slipping with respect to the spherical shell. Third, in order to realize vibration suppression control and velocity control of the sphere, a dynamic model and its analysis, a vibration suppression control method, and a feedback control method of the moving direction and the velocity of the sphere shell are described. The proposed model and the methods were examined using the newly developed spherical mobile robot, and these usefulness and effectiveness are confirmed from experimental results.
In this paper, we describe the demonstration experiments on the theme of driving an automobile with tendon-driven humanoids and the social cooperation activities under industry-government-academia collaboration. In the demonstration experiment by Kengoro conducted at Toyota City Hall, short-distance driving of the electric vehicle COMS by teleoperation was succeeded. In the demonstration experiment by Musashi conducted at Toyota Ecoful Town, in the stand-alone system setup composed of Musashi and COMS, the demonstration experiment was succeeded, in which COMS was stopped by the brake pedal operation after human recognition while the COMS drove forward. In addition, the development of prostheses is proceeding as an initiative to apply the knowledge obtained in the above demonstration experiments to the development of human assistance technology. As basic experiments of the developed prosthesis prototype, pedal operation and automobile driving with prosthesis were conducted, and a possibility of a prosthesis–vehicle cooperation was gained.
In machine learning, transforming features into a low-dimensional latent space has advantages such as speeding up learning and suppressing overfitting. In addition, when each feature in the latent space is independent and latent space is sparse, the overlap of information between features can be reduced. Such a sparse latent space can be useful for acquiring a policy of robot with high-dimensional sensors like a camera. To obtain the sparse latent space, a variational autoencoder based on Tsallis statistics is rearranged and analyzed. From vision information on a car racing simulation, the proposed method, which is with a more natural implementation than the previous method, can extract the sparse latent space appropriately.
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have been deployed in various applications. The UAVs are limited in their flight duration owing to the payload, battery capacity, or wind effects. To address the issue, we propose an energy-efficient path planning method for UAVs that explicitly considers spatiotemporal wind speed. The proposed method exploits the wind-based energy consumption model as the cost function and also implements a variable-resolution grid in the graph search. The simulation study with 648 scenarios confirms the validity of the proposed method. Further, the statistical analysis of the simulation results summarizes the impact of wind and freight mass on UAV path plannings.
Quantifying characteristics of movement is needed for providing effective coaching to develop talent in sports. This study aimed to clarify differences in motor commands in more- and less-skilled boy sprinters and to investigate equilibrium regulation via changes in muscle activity and kinematics during performance. In this pilot study involving five 10–11-year-old boy children who regularly participate in lessons at the Mizuno running school, we collected electromyography and kinematics data during 30-meter and 50-meter field track sprints. A U.S.-patented synergy analyzer was then applied to estimate the equilibrium point (EP)-based co-activation synergies and the concomitant virtual trajectory in the configuration space. Results showed the counterintuitive control of lower limbs by children when they are sprinting; inter-limb asymmetry of equilibrium regulation achieves similar kinematic limb movement. In the virtual trajectory in one leg, the equilibria after foot-strike were regulated intermittently during the early- and mid-swing phases. In the virtual trajectory in the other leg, the equilibria after foot-strike were regulated continuously during these swing phases. The less-skilled child runners showed a delayed equilibrium action response in both types of virtual trajectories during the early- and mid-swing phases. Information on gait asymmetry would be beneficial not only for coaching to improve sprint training but also from clinical and injury perspectives. These findings provide insights for “tailor-made” coaching based on the type of leg control during sprinting.
How can service robots attract people and communicate more smoothly? On the theme of utilizing expressions that have been inherited through the times, the authors independently developed our own design method with reference to Ningyo Joruri, developed a robot OSONO with physicality, and evaluated as ``attractive''. In this paper, we propose a method of analysis and systematization on the choreography of Ningyo Joruri targeting the service robot, such as OSONO.