Efficient robotic components under development using fundamental mechanism research

At the Morita Lab in the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the Keio University Faculty of Science, researchers are advancing with research and development of unique robots from the perspective of mechanisms, control, skill, and an integration of each of these areas.

"At my lab, research is focused particularly on mechanics and mechanisms in the area of mechanical engineering. Mechanisms and machinery are part of a field of learning that has the longest history amongst areas that pertain to mechanical engineering. This field is basically an area of learning that considers the relationship between two things, or in other words, the mutual relationship between one object and another and how to best achieve relative motion between the two."

Based on the general concept of robotic engineering, various high performance parts centered on motors are used to convert one movement into another. As a result, costs can increase, and a robot can become very expensive even when it is being built to perform a simple action. However, at the Morita Lab, researchers are aiming to achieve higher performance, lower cost robots with energy savings by considering robotic design from the mechanism level based on entirely new concepts.

"When we rely on motors, the performance of the robot can change based on the performance of the motor for example. In other words, the overall performance of a system varies according to the performance of the individual parts, and the result is a design that is dependent on the parts. However, by considering what type of machine you want and the mechanisms for the conversion of movement, you may be able to achieve more rational and beneficial movement. That's the basic thought behind our research. Our research is focused on design methods that manifest some sort of movement using original mechanisms without relying on actuators and sensor technology where possible."

New mechanisms that don't rely on increasing the performance of the parts themselves are becoming visible and can be applied in a variety of situations. One of those mechanisms is a device called a self-weight compensation device. This device uses spring force instead of motors and batteries to counter the weight of the arms and constantly maintain an appropriate posture. With this device, even a heavy object can be moved with a small amount of force, and thus the device is helpful in lightening the load of a robot or operator and in improving precision.

"Put simply, we're thinking about mechanisms and coming up with ideas. In other words, as we observe the mechanisms and natural world around us on a daily basis, we're constantly thinking of ideas and wondering about trying new things. As we do this, sometimes we have what you could call inspiration as we come up with ideas that could possibly be put into practice. However, if we don't confirm those ideas ourselves to determine if they are actually correct, we won't know if they will function properly when we build them. What becomes important in a time like this is fundamental study. It basically becomes a field of learning. When we consider things with focus on mechanical kinematics and dynamics, we can examine in advance whether or not the ideas that we come up with are actually reasonable. Then, if we feel confident that an idea will likely go well, we actually design and verify the idea, and we confirm the resulting designs by conducting tests to determine if they reliably function how they should. We're conducting a lot of research like this."

In the future as well, the Morita Lab intends to continue proposing new concepts of value for the creation of next-generation products using creative mechanisms.

 

 

 

Source: 

Related Articles

Unlike the previous robots in the OMNIBOT series, which are obedient and easy to control, Hello!DINO sometimes becomes naughty. Especially when you pull its tail, it will go berserk and begin roaring, biting and chasing you.
Baxter Coming to Japan - AKihabaraNews.com

Attention Kawada, Yaskawa, Nachi, Fanuc - Your American Nemesis is Coming!

Bandai today announced the release of a super alloy robot "Cho-gokin! Cho-gattai! SF Robot Fujiko F. Fujio Characters".

If you are a real Fujiko F. Fujio fan, you must have got an intense craving for it!

It comes with 6 small robots of the most popular characters created by Fujiko F. Fujio. By putting all the 6 robots together, you can make a 22cm tall robot.

6 characters:

Daft Punk Action Figures - From Japan, of Course - AkihabaraNews.com

Postmodern French TechnoFunk Action Figures? 
Okay, so musicians often have likenesses of themselves created and marketed, but they aren't generally what would be be considered "action figures," i.e., posable, articulable, and in this case thoroughly high-quality mini-facsimiles. No, see - Daft Punk hold a special place in the global pop-cultural consciousness. 

Yoriko Takahashi - April 16, 2014

While there are a great deal of fancy cleaning robots such as Roomba available in the market, CCP is going to start selling another casual, reasonable cleaning robot - Mofa -  in mid-May.

Speaking about CCP, they released the cute and fluffy reasonable microfiber robotic mop ball called MOCORO last year.

iREX 2013 Primer - AkihabaraNews.com
The Japan Robot Association (JARA) and Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun are gearing up to host the 20th bi-ennial iREX International Robot Exhibition here in Tokyo. This is Japan’s Big Show, and naturally, AkihabaraNews is going to be all over it - here’s a bit of what to expect:
Japanese Technology from the Future SATURDAY but was Supposed to Be Friday!

This week it’s Japan thinking about investing a bunch of cash and tech into cancer treatment in India, which is nice, NTT Data Canada has significantly upped some jobs predictions in Nova Scotia, and even we're saying "NTT Data Canada?", and SCHAFT Robotics has left the DARPA building, which is kind of a bummer, but intriguing. 

• • •

Reno J. Tibke - July 12, 2014

JTFF - Japanese Technology from the Future Friday! - AkihabaraNews.com

This week we've learned that Japan's formed a body to (very softly) police/advise on cryptocurrencies like BitCoin, Japan's 3D printing industry showing more and more life signs, and a relatively unknown powered exoskeleton maker is seeing some pretty cool progress! 

• • •

Auto Mee S Cleaning Robots - AkihabaraNews.com

【Published February 5, 2013 - Top 13 of '13

Takara TOMY Company, Ltd., the Japanese toy company, just released a tiny cleaning robot, called the “Auto Mee S”, designed for cleaning smartphone and tablet LCD displays.

This is a fun gadget to have and would be a great gift that I would love to get…

Akihabaranews.com - Honda Motor Europe - ASIMO was promoting science in Slovakia

ASIMO is back again.  He has traveled to Bratislava, Slovakia to attend European Researchers' Night to help give inspiration to the country's next generation of scientists and engineers.

Terrie's Take: Skymark Airlines: Death by Obstinance, Japan's New Robot Hotel, and More!
Terrie’s Take is a selection of Japan-centric news collected and collated by long-time resident and media business professional Terrie Lloyd. AkihabaraNews is pleased to present Terrie’s learned perspective; we all could use another take on the news - here’s Terrie’s:

Pages