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The development of a humanoid robot within the scope of the collaborative research centre 588 has the objective of creating a machine that can closely cooperate with humans. This development area presents new challenges for designers. In contrast to industrial robots - for which mechanical rigidity, precision and high velocities are primary requirements - the key aspects here are prevention of hazards to users, a motion space that corresponds to that of human beings, and a lightweight design. In order to meet these requirements, the robot must have humanlike appearance, motion space, and dexterity. Additionally, its kinematics should be familiar to the user, and its motions predictable, so as to encourage inexperienced persons to interact with the machine. This article gives insight into the design of a new wrist for the next generation of the humanoid robot ARMAR. The goals of the development project are both to improve the motion space and to achieve a humanlike appearance. The new mechanical design is described in detail completed by a study of a first prototype.
Date of Conference: 1-3 Dec. 2008