A group of Japanese researchers developed a new concept construction robot for disaster relief situations. This robot has a double swing dual arm mechanism and has drastically improved operability and mobility compared to conventional construction machines.
In disaster areas, operating heavy construction equipment remotely and autonomously is necessary, but conventional remote-controlled heavy equipment has problems such as insufficient operability, inability to perform heavy-duty work, limited mobility on slopes and stairs, and low work efficiency because of difficult remote control. Thus, fundamental solutions to such problems have been sought after.
As part of the Impulsing Paradigm Challenge through Disruptive Technologies Program (ImPACT)’s Tough Robotics Challenge Program, researchers from Osaka University, Kobe University, Tohoku University, Tohoku University, The University of Tokyo, and Tokyo Institute of Technology, tackle these challenges.
This group of researchers attempts to solve these challenges by developing a prototype robot with a double swing dual arm mechanism and hydraulic-powered robotic hands. Using this robot, this group aims for discontinuous innovation; they try to drastically increase the efficiency of work and movement through the dual arm robot capable of handling heavy objects and by excavating and gripping with its high-powered hands. Specifically, this robot has the following functions.
1. A double swing dual arm mechanism capable of performing heavy work with high operability and terrain adaptability (smooth mobility on slopes and stairs).
In the double swing dual arm mechanism of this robot, its right and left arms and the rotating portion of its shoulders are on the same axis. Because of this, the robot can use bearings with far bigger diameter on its rotation portion as compared to humans and animals, whose shoulder joints are arranged on different axes.
Also, these arms are supported close to the robot’s center of gravity, providing the robot with a high degree of stability. This structure allows the robot to withstand high loads and perform heavy-duty work. Additionally, since each coaxially-arranged arm rotates at 360 degrees, there is no distinction between right and left hands, which allows the user to freely change the layout of the robot’s hands.
2. Multi-fingered hand for construction robots