AI News, Japanese Robot SCHAFT Shows Off Its Strong Limbs

Japanese Robot SCHAFT Shows Off Its Strong Limbs

Despite the popular notion, propagated by Hollywood and the media, that humanity should fear its extermination at the hands of evil humanoid robots with superhuman strength, the reality is that the electric motors used to power most robots aren't very powerful at all.

The capacitor can supply lots of current very fast and reliably, something that batteries are not good at.This in turn allows the electric motor to deliver high speed and high torque to the arm, something that is hard to do with conventional motors.

The company says it will market the robot's arms, which are small, highly articulated, and powerful, as a stand-alone part for use in mobile robots and manipulation research.

With its storied history and connection to JSK Lab, SCHAFT may be run by a young group of engineers but it benefits from more than 30 years of research and development in humanoid robots.

Besides marketing their proprietary technology, the company, which is currently looking for investors,plans to offer consulting services on the development and operation of humanoid robots.

This Robot Can Do More Push-Ups Because It Sweats

Engineers solve this heat-generating problem in most mechanical systems by using fans, heat sinks, and radiators, which means that you’ve got all of this dedicated cooling infrastructure that takes up space and adds mass.

The researchers, from the University of Tokyo’sJSKLab, led by Professor MasayukiInaba, were trying to figure out how to add a cooling system to their 1.7-meter tall, 56-kilogram musculoskeletal humanoid named Kengoro (who joins Kojiro and Kenshiro as part of the JSK robot family).Kengoro is already stuffed to the brim with structural components, circuit boards, gears, and 108 motors (!), and there was simply no room to add active water cooling with tubes and a radiator and fans.

The laser-sintering technique is precise enough to build up aluminum structures with areas of both low and high permeability, letting you make seamless metal components that have microchannels embedded in them through which water can flow.

Now that you’ve got aluminum bones that can transport water around your robot, the other trick (there’s definitely more than one trick here) is to get the robot to sweat in a useful way rather than just leaking water all over the floor.

Testing shows that this method of cooling works three times better than air cooling, and significantly better than just circulating water through the interior channel, although it’s not as effective as a traditional radiator using active cooling.

Kenshiro: Strong robot with 160 muscles.

The University of Tokyo has developed a tendon-controlled humanoid robot that is capable of very realistic humanlike movements.

During the development of the robot, the Japanese scientists used the human anatomy as its focus to create an artificial human that looks as natural as possible.

To imitate the very complex human anatomy made up of approximately 640 muscles, the scientists equipped Kenshiro with the most important human muscles: 50 in the legs, 76 in the torso, 12 in the shoulder and 22 in the neck.

It's simple: demonstrate a movement, he will then imitate it.A simple learning method, implemented by means of open source intelligent software and a mechanical interface.

A replica with the size of an adult would weigh approximately 100 kg which means a higher load, higher energy requirements and slower movements.

For those special muscles as in the abdominal and thoracic, only a single motor provides the necessary drive and it is that of the maxon brushless EC 16 and EC 22 motors.

These electronically commutated servo motors stand out with excellent torque characteristics, high dynamics, an extremely wide speed range, and their very long service life.

Who Is SCHAFT, the Robot Company Bought by Google and Winner of the DRC?

Overall, it was a big win for DARPA and for robotics as a whole, but without question, the biggest winner of all was SCHAFT, the Japanese company that utterly dominated the competition and thathad been acquired by Google just months earlier.

SCHAFT put on a nearly flawless performance, ending at the top spot with the most points and, we guess, leaving Andy Rubin (the Google executive leading its robotics program) with a big smile on his face.

The company did not answer messages we sent them in the past few weeks, and a Google spokesman said 'it's too soon to talk about specific projects or plans,' confirming only that the SCHAFT team will remain in Japan as opposed to relocating to California.

We'll have to wait until Google reveals more about its plans, but in the meantime, here's everything we were able to piece together about the Japanese startup based on research papers, previously published articles and interviews, and our own observations and speculations.

But from Google's perspective, it bought SCHAFT as part of a bigger effort, and it might want the Japanese company focused not on rescue robots but, we suppose, on more market-oriented applications.For now, all we can do is wait until we have official word from Google or DARPA.

In 2010, they reported the development of a compact liquid-cooled motor and a high-output driver module capable of producing both high speed and high torque without overheating, a common problem for motors in robotics.

With colleagues from the JSK Lab and from AIST, a major Japanese research agency, they developed walking pattern generators and equipped their robot with a crucial new skill: push-recovery capability.

Urata and Nakanishi, who between them published some 40 research papers on a variety of robotic topics, brought in the knowledge and experience that the company needed to succeed, but Kato would also play a key role.

The arms seem to use the same liquid-cooled high-output motors.Suzuki, the COO, says in a video that the special motors can 'generate very big power,' allowing their robot to move fast and reliably, thus solving one of the big limitations of large humanoids.

Our team’s robot can generate ten times as much as the strongest robot, which means that our robots can generate the same power of an actual human being can generate.

The SCHAFT team built replicas of each task station based on DARPA's specs and practiced repeatedly, hoping to master all of the challenges, as shown in a video—the only one postedon their YouTube channel:

Also, with a year before the Finals, we expect many teams to be significantly more competitive, and that would mean SCHAFT would also need to improve speed and maybe its strategy for some of the tasks as opposed to relying entirely on safe completion.

concept pursuing affinity with humans, HRP-4 has achieved the new, light-weighted and slim body while succeeding the concept of the conventional models HRP-2 or HRP-3 where the robots coexist with humans and assist or replace human operations or behavior. Further,

We will continue to advance our research and development on robots making use of the past robotics research and the development know-how obtained from HRP-4, and to create a robot that works in our living spaces and improves our quality of life.