Japanese universities—Osaka University, Kobe University, Tohoku University, Tohoku University, The University of Tokyo, and Tokyo Institute of Technology (aka TIT)—took part in the Impulsing Paradigm Challenge through Disruptive Technologies Program (ImPACT)’s Tough Robotics Challenge Program, working together to resolve a robotics challenge.
Because Japan is always in the way of some disaster or another (nuclear meltdown, WWII, tsunami, not to mention landslides, mudslides, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and my personal favorite - the Abe administration), the challenge was to try and create some sort of heavy-lifting machine that could traverse stairs, slopes and more.
The university groups developed a robot prototype featuring a double-swing dual arm mechanism and hydraulic-powered robotic hands.
According to the press release on the Osaka University website, the robot they built was created 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.
And here’s what that robot can do:
- A double swing dual arm mechanism capable of performing heavy work with high operability and terrain adaptability (smooth mobility on slopes and stairs).
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.
- Multi-fingered hand for construction robots
- Basic technology for enhancement of remote controls
The researchers aim at achieving practical use of this robot to disaster relief situations within a few years through future improvement, integration with basic technology, and performance limit tests.