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成果報告書詳細
管理番号20170000000705
タイトル*平成28年度中間年報 次世代人工知能・ロボット中核技術開発 (革新的ロボット要素技術分野)次世代機能性材料 剛性と柔軟性を融合させるスマートメカニクス
公開日2018/1/31
報告書年度2016 - 2016
委託先名国立大学法人筑波大学
プロジェクト番号P15009
部署名ロボット・AI部
和文要約
英文要約Title: Strategic Advancement of Multi-Purpose Ultra-Human Robot and Artificial Intelligence Technologies/ (Future robot technology) Next-generation advanced functional material/ Smart Mechanics for Innovative Robot Joints capable of Switching High Compliance and Stiffness
University of Tsukuba
FY2016 Annual Report

After conducting the survey research on innovative robot joints from November, 2015, to October, 2016, we proceeded to the cutting-edge research until March, 2018. Therefore, our research activity in FY 2016 is divided into two parts, i.e., the former survey research until the end of October, 2016, and the latter cutting-edge research until the end of March, 2017.

In the former survey research, we collected the information on robot joints from related literature on robotics and human science, latest research presentations in both domestic and international conferences, and the information obtained from the interviews with knowledgeable researchers and engineers. In parallel to this activity, we conducted experiments for benchmarking capabilities of switching high compliance and stiffness of robot joints. Moreover, we formulated the compliance-stiffness switching characteristics of the promising robot joints utilizing advanced functional materials (magneto-rheological (MR) fluid, specifically).

In the subsequent cutting-edge research, we have set three achievement targets.

The first target is to accelerate to build up the technology for estimating human joint impedance, which is considered to be an important key to task achievement, as well as the theory of Smart Mechanics for formulating and analyzing the power flow controlled by functional joints in the course of task achievement. We succeeded to invent a wearable device to estimate mechanical impedance of human joints, and applied for a patent. Moreover, we presented research results on a basic experiment using this estimation device. We are aiming at finding some good examples of the fusion of rigidity and softness in human joints reasonable from the viewpoint of Smart Mechanics by analyzing the power flow of a human system for some specific tasks, based on the knowledge obtained from the human impedance estimation technology.

The second target is to validate our wearable motion support system for lower limbs by evaluation tests. We have already developed the wearable motion support system for lower limbs named Smart AFO, which was based on a prismatic joint using magneto-rheological fluids and a coil spring named MR-Link, and conducted an evaluation test for a subject. However, this test revealed the necessity of more powerful MR-Link. Then, we considered how to improve our MR-Link based on magnetic field analysis. We have already found good ideas for the improvement, and are making modified versions of MR-Link.

The third target is to develop a robot joint for sophisticated assembly tasks. We consider this from all angles such as a use of, not only magneto-rheological fluids but also air bags or the jamming effect. For future validation experiments, we facilitated an experimental setup including a multi-joint robot manipulator. We are trying to invent a robot joint for sophisticated assembly tasks according to the results of the studies this year, and planning to validate its effectiveness by experiments using the introduced multi-joint robot manipulator.

In FY2016, we presented our research results, not only in some domestic conferences and seminars, but also an international conference overseas. Moreover, we applied for a patent on the system estimating human joint impedance.

We are planning to publicize our idea of Smart Mechanics by presenting a paper introducing our project at JSME ROBOMECH 2017, a largest domestic conference on robotics and mechatronics.
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