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

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

This week it's robots, robots, and more robots. iREX robots have hijacked the JTFF - but true to form, the 60 images in this gallery represent the news that was in fact going down here in Japan today. We'll have more to say about iREX next week, but for now: Photos. Of. Robots! We hope you enjoy (we definitely, totally, absolutely did).

iREX 2013 Primer - AkihabaraNews.com

The Japan Robot Association (JARA) and Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun will open the 20th bi-ennial iREX International Robot Exhibition here in Tokyo tomorrow morning. This is Japan’s, perhaps the entire planet's premier robotics extravaganza. We're all over it.

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! 

• • •

Sega Toys recently released a white cat robot, Yume Neko Celeb, for 11,000 yen.

It is made for those who wants to have a pet but their apartment/condo rules don't allow them to enjoy a life with a pet. The cat robot snuggles, purrs and meows like an actual cat.

Sega Toys also released a yellow chick robot, Yume Hiyoko, on the same day. It moves like an actual chick by moving its wings and saying peep-peep.

Yume Neko Celeb

Yoriko Takahashi - September 27, 2013

Akihabaranews.com - The Creators Project - Box

 

We found this amazing example of "technology meets art" from The Creators Project.

This video is called "Box" and this what they said about it:

Box explores the synthesis of real and digital space through projection-mapping on moving surfaces. The short film documents a live performance, captured entirely in camera.

At Keio University, the Ishigami Laboratory, in the Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering, is investigating robotic mobility systems. The main mission of this group is to perform fundamental and applied research for application to extreme environments, notably lunar and planetary rovers.

"In our lab, we focus on field robotics that works for extreme environments."

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:

Pleiades System Designs, Inc. released classic humanoid robot designed mobile battery "OZAKI O!tool Battery 2600mAh".

To charge the mobile battery, open the cover on the robot's mouth. The cover protects the connection from dust and particles.

It is able to fully charge an iPhone one time. It has an LED light to check the remaining power and a place to attach a strap.
 

Pages