Design Innovation Papers

Design of a Spherically Actuated Human Interaction Robot Head

[+] Author and Article Information
Nevan C. Hanumara

 Mem. ASMEMIT Mechanical Engineering, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, 3-470, Cambridge, MA 02139hanumara@mit.edu

Alexander H. Slocum

 McVicar Faculty Fellow Fellow ASME Pappalardo Professor of Mechanical Engineering,MIT Mechanical Engineering,77 Massachusetts Avenue, 3-445, Cambridge, MA 02139slocum@mit.edu

Takeshi Mitamura

 Mobility & Services Laboratory, Nissan Research Center, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., 1-1, Morinosatoaoyama, Atsugi, Kanagawa 243-0123, Japant-mitamura@mail.nissan.co.jp

Unfortunately, a confidentiality agreement between Nissan and the mechanism’s fabricant prevents inclusion of more detail.

Anaheim automation: www.anaheimautomation.com

Phidgets products for USB sensing and control: http://www.phidgets.com/

The “digital” servos offer slightly greater torque, a few programable parameters, and a slightly faster control loop; though testing demonstrated minimal advantages and they were not used in the second prototype.

Despite their products being increasingly used in prototyping, servo manufacturers continue to provide only limited and unclear performance specifications.

Pulses are delivered to each servo every 20 ms with a pulse width of 0.6 ms indicates a desired position of − 90 deg (anticlockwise when facing the servo shaft), 1.5 ms the center and 2.4 ms + 90 deg.

Moog components group: http://www.moog.com/

This “RC switch,” manufactured by Firmtronics (http://www.firmtronics.com/) accepts power and signal from a standard three pin servo channel and in response to various PWM signals switches small loads on or off.

J. Mech. Des 134(5), 055001 (Apr 25, 2012) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4006263 History: Received July 06, 2010; Revised February 13, 2012; Published April 24, 2012; Online April 25, 2012

This paper presents the development of a mechanism for actuating a sphere holonomically about 3 degrees of freedom (DOF). The target application is a robot head for mounting inside a vehicle to provide a driver with companionship, location specific information, and other assistance, via head motions in conjunction with auditory communication. Prior art is reviewed and two designs are presented: One mechanism is located below the sphere and provides an unlimited range of motion (ROM), and the other is contained entirely within the sphere but has a limited range of motion. The latter is stable and easily mounted, provides a clean appearance, and is particularly suited to human interaction applications.

Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Nissan PIVO, detail of RA prototype on dashboard [1] and maximum admissible dimensions specified by Nissan

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Figure 2

Top: Kismet, photo by Donna Coveney, MIT Publishing; bottom: Keepon making eye contact with insets showing mechanism and deformable body, photos courtesy of Hideki Kozima

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Figure 3

Top: “President Roosevelt and his globe,” 1942, photo courtesy of FDR Library; bottom: support base and mechanism detail showing ball rotating in swiveling cup, photos courtesy of Sylvia Sumira

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Figure 4

Selected ball wheel mechanisms: (a) ball supported by spherical bearings which permit free motion; (b) ball supported upon three rollers; (c) modification with two pivoting rollers; (d) alternate design with an extra degree of freedom; images excerpted from Ref. [12]

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Figure 5

(a) Omni wheel design from 1919 [13]; (b) Ilon’s vehicle employing wheels with angled rollers which create sideways tractive forces [14]; (c) Ilon wheel with barrel shaped rollers for smooth motion [15]; (d) vehicle having three omni wheels [16]; (e) Omni wheels driving a curved surface [17]

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Figure 6

(a) Gimbal mechanism; (b) three DOF chain driven mechanism for General Dynamics [18]; (c) “Differential Drive Rolling Arc Gimbal” for General Dynamics [19]; (d) refinement of previous design, “Differential Drive Pedestal Gimbal” [20]

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Figure 7

Omni wheel prototype and geometry; arrows indicate positive direction conventions

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Figure 8

Differential drive prototype #1. Arrows indicate positive direction conventions. In the roll and pitch directions, the sphere tilts and the entire structure rotates about the mounting shaft in yaw.

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Figure 9

Differential drive prototype #2. Mechanism and assembly are shown.



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