History of Robotics Research and Development of Japan1984LocomotionGuide Dog Robot MELDOG Conceptualization, Invention, and Feasibility Demonstration of Guide Dog Robot

SusumuTachiMechanical Engineering Laboratory, MITI
Kiyoshi KomoriyaMechanical Engineering Laboratory, MITI
We first proposed the concept of Guide Dog Robot in 1975, performed theoretical research regarding engineering methods by which this idea might be realized, and demonstrated the feasibility of our proposed method through development of a prototype experimental robot called MELDOG. After preliminary study, this research was conducted under a six-year plan that began in 1977 and was sponsored by the Agency of Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) as a Special Research Project titled “Research on Guide Dog Robot for the Blind”. The project established technologies related to intelligent navigation of mobile robots and technologies for communication between humans and robots. It also provided fundamental research regarding street navigation assistance for the visually impaired. By the end of the project, four generations of the MELDOG prototypes had been developed, and experiments using them verified the technological potential for the utility of the Guide Dog Robot. As part of this research we also investigated methods of bidirectional information transmission between humans and robots, and clarified characteristics of communication using methods such as electrical stimulation of human skin. We also performed related basic research regarding a walking robot that moves via a leg mechanism. On September 10, 1983, we were awarded an IEEE/EMBS Outstanding Paper Award for “Electrocutaneous Communication in a Seeing-Eye Robot (MELDOG)”; on November 5, 1987, we were awarded the Mechanical Engineering Laboratory Director General’s Achievement Award for “Research Regarding Guide Dog Robot”; and on November 27, 1987, we were awarded the Robotics Society of Japan’s Paper Award for “A Method for Autonomous Locomotion of Mobile Robots.”
写真1 盲導犬ロボット概観
Phito 1 MELDOG
写真2 盲導犬ロボットの実験風景
Photo 2 Experimnt of MELDOG
図1 盲導犬ロボットのシステム図
Fig. 1 Structure of MELDOG


Correspondence papers

S.Tachi and K.Komoriya:Guide Dog Robot

in M. Brady et al.ed., Robotics Research 2, pp.333-340, MIT Press, 1985.

Related papers

[1] 舘 暲,小森谷清,谷江和雄,大野武房,阿部 稔,細田祐司,藤村貞夫,中島英博,加藤一郎:人と一定間隔を保つ移動ロボット制御の一方法,バイオメカニズム,vol.4, pp.279-289, 1978.

[2] 舘 暲,小森谷 清:盲導犬ロボットの研究,ロボット,no.22, pp.72-83, 1979.

[3] 舘 暲,小森谷清,谷江和雄,大野武房,阿部 稔,清水知和,松田 啓:ランドマークとマップを用いる移動機械の誘導法,バイオメカニズム,vol.5, pp.208-219, 1980.

[4] S.Tachi, K.Tanie, K.Komoriya, Y.Hosoda and M.Abe:Guide dog robot (Its basic plan and some experiments with MELDOG MARK I),Mechanism and Machine Theory, vol.16, no.1, pp.21-29, 1981.

[5] S.Tachi, K.Komoriya, K.Tanie, T.Ohno and M.Abe:Guide dog robot(Feasibility experiments with MELDOG MARK III),Proceeding of the 11th International Symposium on Industrial Robots, pp.95-102, Tokyo, Japan, October, 1981.

[6] 舘 暲,小森谷清,谷江和雄,大野武房,阿部 稔,細田祐司:視線可動型センサを用いる自律移動機械の移動制御,バイオメカニズム,vol.6, pp.242-251, 1982.

[7] S.Tachi, R.W.Mann and D.Rowell:Quantitative comparison of alternative sensory displays for mobility aids for the blind,IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, vol.BME-30, no.9, pp.571-577,1983.

[8] S.Tachi and K.Komoriya:Guide dog robot,Proceedings of the 2nd International Symposium of Robotics Research, pp.325-332, Kyoto, Japan, August, 1984.

[9] 小森谷清,舘 暲,谷江和雄:移動ロボットの自律誘導の一方法,日本ロボット学会誌,vol.2, no.3, pp.46-55, 1984.

[10] S.Tachi, K.Tanie, K.Komoriya and M.Abe:Electrocutaneous communication in a guide dog robot (MELDOG),IEEE Transaction on Biomedical Engineering, vol.BME-32, no.7, pp.461-469, 1985.

[11] K.Komoriya, S.Tachi and K.Tanie:A method of autonomous locomotion for mobile robots,Advanced Robotics, vol.1, no.1, pp.3-19, 1986.

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