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The human care and service field requires an innovative robotic solution to make the daily care of elderly and disabled people in both home and workplace environments easier. The European Union (EU) project MATS (flexible mechatronic assistive technology system) has developed a new concept of a climbing robot for this type of service application. The climbing process is performed by moving the robot between very simple docking stations (DSs) placed in the environment. The MATS climbing robot is a symmetrical, five degrees of freedom (5 DOF), self-containing manipulator that includes all the control and communication systems on board. To fulfil the climbing movements successfully, the developed robot is lightweight, about 11 kg for a 1.3 m reach. This article presents real experiments conducted with the robot during its climbing movements and assistance tasks for disabled persons.
Date of Publication: March 2006