History of Robotics Research and Development of Japan2009Integration, Intelligence, etc.Thrwoing & Batting Robot

Masatoshi IshikawaUniversity of Tokyo, Chiba University
Akio NamikiUniversity of Tokyo, Chiba University
Taku SenooUniversity of Tokyo, Chiba University
Generally a robot system is composed of sensing, processing, and motor subsystems, with their respective dynamics. To achieve optimum performance in real time, the total system should be designed by taking into account the constraints of the dynamics of each element. As viewed from the perspective of information flow, the sensor processing rate should be 1kHz to realize stable control of actuators. Nevertheless, the sampling rate of traditional vision systems is limited to the video rate of 30Hz and is a bottle-neck in terms of dynamics matching. Therefore we have developed a high-speed robot system, whose cycle time of sensor feedback and control processing is set at 1ms. The high-speed robot consists of a multi-fingered hand, an arm, and a stereo active vision system. Using the integration system, we demonstrated a throwing & batting task, where a manipulator throws a ball using fingers like human and other manipulator hits the ball based on high-speed visual feedback. We have developed the high-speed vision system with the sampling rate of 1kHz, which leads to direct and stable sensory feedback control of actuators. In addition we have developed new high-torque mini actuators and the high-speed multi-fingered hand with these incorporated. Moreover, we create the logical foundation for system design of high-speed robots such as hierarchical parallel processing architecture, task decomposition and dynamics matching in order to achieve efficient processing and computational scalability for many kinds of algorithms. By integrating these components, the 1ms sensory-motor fusion system can be highly adaptable to the environmental changes in real time. The high-speed robotic system has great potential to enable performance of new skills and new applications. In particular, it is expected to be applied to following area: FA, manufacturing line, high-speed visual servoing, and so on.

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