History of Robotics Research and Development of Japan2011ManipulationHigh-speed Robot

Masatoshi IshikawaThe University of Tokyo
Akio NamikiThe University of Tokyo
Taku SenooChiba University
Yuji YamakawaThe University of Tokyo
In recent years, almost all robot systems have been designed with a primary goal of the emulation of human capabilities, and with less attention to pushing the envelope in terms of speed as mechanical systems. With a goal of making a robot whose movements are so fast as to be invisible to a human being, we have developed a high-speed multifingered robot hand system, which exceeds human capabilities. Therefore the robot can react quickly to target motion in unpredictable conditions. We developed new high-power mini actuators in 2002. The design of this actuator is based on the new concept that the maximum power output should be increased beyond the rated power output. And then, we have developed the high-speed multifingered hand. The hand has three fingers: a left thumb, an index finger, and a right thumb. Each finger is divided into a top link and a root link. The index finger has two degrees of freedom (2-DOF), and the other fingers have 3-DOF, so that the hand has a total of eight degrees of freedom in its movement. The high-power mini actuators with harmonic drive gears are installed in each finger link. As a result, the joints of the hand can be closed at a speed of 180 deg./0.1 s. In addition, the hand has two wrist joints. The wrist part has a differential rotation mechanism, and it moves about two axes. And the mass of the robot hand is about 1 kg. Using the high-speed multifingered robot hand system and the high-speed vision with sampling rate 1 kHz, we have achieved various high-speed manipulations such as catching of a raw egg, dribbling of a ball, pen spinning, dynamic regrasping of a cellphone, knotting of a rope, catching of a minute object, folding of a cloth, and rock-paper-scissors. These manipulations demonstrate the validity of the performance of high-speed multifingered robot hand system. It is expected that the high-speed robot system can be applied to following area: FA, manufacturing line, high-speed visual servoing, flexible objects control, human-machine cooperation, and human motion support.

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