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  • webasif 10:13 am on 31/07/2011 Permalink |
    Tags: Electrical engineering, Gerridae, Harbin Institute of Technology, Microbotics, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Robot, University of Waterloo,   



    When the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa fielded its first team ever to compete in the annual National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Microrobotics Challenge—held in May 2011 in Shanghai, China—the Honolulu contingent made quite an impression among competitors from the mainland U.S., France, Italy and Canada.

    Electrical engineering graduate students Wenqi Hu and Kelly Ishii finished second among seven teams in the challenge of building mobile robots smaller than 1 millimeter in size. Plus, they were members of the only team besides the winning one, University of Waterloo, that was able to assemble more than a single triangle in the micro-assembly challenge. “We were pleasantly surprised to do so well, because we didn’t have much time to work on this project,” said team advisor and Electrical Engineering Assistant Professor Aaron Ohta.

    The stellar showing under Ohta’s tutelage was not surprising. The 1999 Kalani High graduate displayed youthful promise when, while enrolled at UH Mānoa in the early 2000s, Ohta was recognized by the national honor society Eta Kappa Nu as the top electrical engineering undergraduate in the U.S. The first UH engineering student to receive the prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, Ohta went on to earn his master’s from UCLA in 2004 and PhD from UC Berkeley in 2008, before returning to his alma mater to teach in 2009.

    It was easy for Ohta to impart his enthusiasm for the world of microrobotics to Hu, Ishii and engineering student Michelle Zhang, who assisted in earlier stages of the project with Electrical Engineering Assistant Professor David Garmire. They were all fascinated by microrobots that are less than 0.6 millimeters in their largest dimension, which is no larger than the width of six strands of hair. UH Mānoa’s microrobot consisted of a very tiny air bubble inside a microchamber, whose surface was heated by a computer projector. The generated force propelled the microrobot, which in turn could move objects smaller than a millimeter in size.

    At the Microrobotics Challenge in Shanghai, the tiny robots competed in miniature arenas under a microscope. The competition consisted of two events: a mobility challenge, in which the robots were timed as they moved around a figure-8 track; and a micro-assembly challenge, in which the robots assembled tiny triangles in a designated area. In a show of school spirit, the UH Mānoa team also assembled tiny glass beads into a “U” and a “H.” Go Warriors!

  • webasif 2:20 pm on 18/07/2011 Permalink |
    Tags: Bielefeld University, Building, Carnegie Mellon University, Research, Robot, Robotics, Sensor, Willow Garage   

    A six legged robot has been built to… 


    A six-legged robot has been built to study the elegant movements of animals.

    HECTOR (Hexapod Cognitive autonomously Operating Robot), designed by researchers at the University of Bielefeld’s Center of Excellence Cognitive Interaction Technology, uses a new kind of bioinspired, elastic joint drive that mimics muscle movement. Each drive is equipped with sensors, electronic controls, a dedicated processor and a sensorized elastic coupling all controlled by biologically inspired algorithms. These allow HECTOR to react by yielding during collisions or interactions with people.

    HECTORS exoskeleton is made of a light, yet durable, carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) and only accounts for only 13 percent of the robot’s 26.45-pound body weight. Yet the 3.28 ft robot is still capable of carrying load over twice its body weight. A test showed it could carry a 66-pound load with less than one tenth inch of deformation.

    The robot’s exchangeable lid body design allows special sensor equipment to be easily switched and installed for different studies. For example, an omnidirectional camera for near- and long-range sensing can be easily swapped for a tactile antenna, more suitable for exploring immediate surroundings.

    HECTOR’s control program runs on the same distributed intelligence principle found in insect brains responding to stimuli. A specially developed interface and bus concept processes sensory information and links the robot’s movement to the control system.

    HECTOR’S creators plan to give the robot the ability to learn and plan, which will allow it to navigate unfamiliar territory and autonomously carry out exploration tasks.


    Courtesy.  Source


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