“Active Hose”: an Artificial Elephant’s Trunk for Rescue Operations
Ato Kitagawa, Hideyuki Tsukagoshi, Mitsuru Segawa, and Toshiya Takeda
Mechanical and Control Eng., Tokyo Institute of Technology, 2-12-1 Ohokayama Meguro-ku Tokyo 152-8552, Japan
We propose a design concept and operation of a flexible robot with multiple degrees of freedom to dive into debris. Pneumatic robots with flexibility previously developed did not have multiple degrees of freedom with high bending moment. We propose a new type of robot, called “Active Hose,” which has multiple degrees of freedom by connecting units of 2 degrees of freedom in a series and has high bending moment thanks to a spine structure and deformation by spiral tubes. “Active Hose” can thus be applied to rescue operations such as searching for victims under debris after earthquakes, supplying. fresh air and drinking water to victims, and carrying air jacks to make room for victims to escape.
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