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Industrial-strength human-assisted walking robots

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2 Author(s)
Neuhaus, P. ; Berkeley Process Control, Richmond, CA, USA ; Kazerooni, H.

This article discusses the design of a machine that can successfully maneuver heavy loads for extended periods of time over unstructured terrain, as found in forests, jungles, and deserts, as well as over structured terrain, such as stairs. Although there are machines that have sophisticated electronic and mechanical hardware that function successfully in rugged environments, increased reliability can be achieved by reducing the number of these sensors. Additionally these types of machines become prohibitively expensive. Our design sought to increase the robustness of the robot and reduce cost by limiting the number of sensors and actuators. The machine had to be self-contained - capable of carrying its own energy supply and controller, if necessary. Moreover, we required that it be easy to "recharge" the machine after its own energy supply was exhausted. The final design specification was that this machine be a human-assisted device designed specifically to interact with the human operator. Allowing the machine to be human operated eliminated the need for a fully autonomous robot

Published in:

Robotics & Automation Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:8 ,  Issue: 4 )