Development of Robot Using Pneumatic Artificial Rubber Muscles to Operate Construction Machinery
Kenji Kawashima*, Takahiro Sasaki*,
Toshiyuki Miyata*, Naohiro Nakamura**,
Masato Sekiguchi***, and Toshiharu Kagawa*
*Tokyo Institute of Technology, Department of Computational Intelligence and Systems Science, 4259 Nagatsuta, Midori-ku, Yokohama-shi, 226-8503, Japan
**OLYMPUS CORPOPATION, 2951 Ishikawa-cho, Hachioji-shi, Tokyo 192-8507, Japan
***NS Solutions Corporation, 3-3-1, Minatomirai, Nishi-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan
After disasters, remote control of construction machinery is often required to ensure the safety of workers during excavation. However, only limited numbers of remote-controlled construction machinery exist, and they are typically larger than conventional machinery. After a disaster, the transportation of such machinery takes additional time and is often troublesome. Therefore, it would be desirable to develop a remote-control system that could easily be installed on ordinary construction machinery. A pneumatic humanoid robot arm is in the process of being developed. While considering the portability issue, a lightweight fiber knitted pneumatic artificial rubber muscle (PARM) was selected as the actuator for the arm. This arm can be installed on all construction machinery models, can be controlled remotely, and has been designed for easy installation and portability. In this research, construction machinery was retrofitted with a pneumatic robot that enables it to be operated remotely. This robot has 6 degrees of freedom and utilizes the fiber knitted PARM. Experiments were conducted to measure the static characteristics of the new PARM and to measure their performance in the remote control of construction machinery. Experimental results showed that the developed system is able to achieve handling two levers of machinery, one that controls back and forward movement and the other that controls the bucket. Experimental results showed that the developed system successfully operated construction machinery remotely.
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