Robotic conference icra: the trend towards the third-party arm

Robotic Conference ICRA: The trend towards the third-party arm

The development of artificial links with the help of robotics technology is primarily motivated, people who have lost their arms or legs to reflect their mobility. In addition, there is also the research approach to equip healthy people with additional limbs to expand their room for maneuver.

An extra arm as a helper

The Robotics Conference ICRA find such research under the keyword "Wearable Robotics" (Portable robot). There, about Catherine Veronneau from the Canadian university de Sherbrooke a robotic arm presented, which can be worn at the hug. With a mass of 4.2 kg, he is roughly as heavy as a human arm, she says. Over the long, it does not provide any information, but the above 3 degrees of freedom, however, will appear much more than the biological model. At the end, a 3-finger gripper is attached.

The arm is moved hydraulically by means of magnetorheological fluid whose viscosity can be changed by magnetic fields. He can paste loads up to 12 kg, with outstretched arm after all 5 kg. The energy required for it is supplied by AUBEN. The barrier’s freedom of movement of the user, says Veronneau. Nevertheless, she also sees useful application possibilities for such a configuration and compares the energy base with a vacuum cleaner, which you could also pull behind. In this way, the third arm love for the fruit arts, in the case of painting work or in the window. At the workbench he could hold tools. In a video recording can be seen as he struggles with a badminton bat.

An athlete had rather disadvantages as advantages through the use of the additional arms. Because what uses a third arm when you need the other two to control it? Currently, the arm is remotely controlled by a second person. To act autonomously, he had to be able to understand the user’s intentions. It is quite feasible for clearly defined applications, says Veronneau in the interview with IEEE SPECTRUM: "If the task consists, for example, to open the tur, during the user carries something in his hands, the controller should recognize the right moment to open the right moment." For a multifunctional arm that can help with different tasks, but need more artificial intelligence. "There is still much to explore in the wide field of human intentions", explains her.

Spab and practice

In the development of the portable arm, the Spab for the researchers did not seem too short. "That’s just for fun", commented Veronneau in its presentation video recordings, which show how the robot arm for the demonstration of his strength a plasterboard is crumpled. And currently your research team works on "Beer stunt", Inspired by an internet video: This shows a tanzer that sets its beer glass on a tablet attached to its body. While he moves, this tray remains completely quiet. "In fact, this video is complete dizziness", says Veronneau. "We want to be reality."

Of course, the Canadians are not the only ones working on such corporation benefits. Thus, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (with) have developed a solution for the turopapen scenario mentioned by Veronneau. The concept, the Jacob W. Guggenheim presented at the ICRA, uses the varied degrees of freedom of the human body: So a person who carries a package with both hands, still move the fingers. In the experiment, these movements are detected with sensors on the fingers and can be carried out by pre-encoded strings to the robot arm commands. Guggenheim shows video recordings in which the subject first brings the arm into the right position by own body movements and then gives his fingers the command to grab the turgle and turn. In order to raise the door, man takes a step back and then uses the arm back with finger movements to let go of the door handle. This is the way free.

Probably it was going faster to open the door with the elbow or to stop the package briefly on the ground. At first glance, the portable arms could also convey the impression, as if there had been little done in this area since the Performance Kunstler Stelarc has occurred for the first time with his third hand 40 years ago. As in other areas of robotics, however, it also shows that the rough challenges are less of the hardware than the software. Until portable robotics technology really takes advantage of humans or even gives something like great force, it could therefore be a further way. But the tur is open.

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