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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Exoskeleton Research in Japan 2012

The de-facto approach so far in humanoid robotics was to make use of non-backdrivable stiff transmissions systems that are combined with high gain servo controllers. Although these properties provide highly precise positioning, the resulting large mechanical output impedance makes them inherently incapable of handling the unpredictable environmental conditions.

At the Control Systems Laboratory of the Toyota Technological Institute (TTI) researchers are exploring "Multimodal Biped Robot Locomotion Through the Utilization of Active/Passive Compliance" and "Exoskeleton/Power Assist Robot Control". The Japanese researchers are building a whole-body power assist robot to provide power augmentation for humans. Power augmentation is required in various situations; i) Manipulating heavy objects (upper body) or ii) providing assistance to legs for walking motion (lower body) The main goal in this research topic is to develop a control methodology which handles the aforementioned power augmentation scenes while ensuring the safe human-robot co-existence.

The TTI is a university located in Nagoya, Japan. Founded in 1981 by a large endowment from Toyota Motors Corporation, it originally only accepted students with some industrial work experience. TTI was ranked as the 5th best Japanese university in 2010 by TSU. TTI has a best employment rate among all Japanese Universities.

TTI Global Network

1 comment:

Sebastien said...

This sounds interesting. I think we should not underestimate what we achieved in the field of exoskeletons with the stiff actuators. The HAL robotic exoskeleton is a great achievement already, and is used in many rehabilitation centers in Japan.
I wonder what the next generation will offer...