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China Daily:Innovative robot learns how to walk
来源:China Daily 2018-03-05 05 作者:LI WENFANG 编辑:朱小翠

Huang Zhifeng adjusts his biped robot, which is able to take a big step while keeping its balance. [Photo by LI WENFANG/CHINA DAILY]

Forget about the robot soldiers marching through the human world in sci-fi movies. Two-legged robots in reality are mostly able to take only short steps and they're prone to falls.

But a robotic biped developed at Guangdong University of Technology is able to take a big step while maintaining balance thanks to ducted fans fixed to its feet.

Jet-HR1, the robot, resembles the lower part of a human body. It's 65 centimeters tall and weighs 6.5 kilograms. It can cross a gap of 45 cm, or 97 percent of its leg length, making a move like doing the splits.

This results in higher efficiency than the 20 percent of leg length commonly seen in other humanoid robots, said Huang Zhifeng, vice-dean of the university's Department of Automation, who has led the research over the past two years.

Crossing distances may sound easy for humans, who can mitigate the chances of falling through the use of dynamic walking, or constantly falling forward.

For the less dynamic, or quasi-static, robot, it presents a significant challenge because the longer the step, the more its center of gravity moves toward the leg taking the step, and the greater the chance of falling.

A ducted fan jet engine weighs 232 grams but can produce up to 2 kg of thrust-one-third of the total weight of the Jet-HR1. The magnitude of the propulsion is calculated so that the robot can make different moves in different conditions.

The robot was depicted in a recent article published in IEEE Spectrum, the flagship magazine of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, a major international professional organization.

Huang was studying in Japan when that country was hit by a massive earthquake and tsunami in 2011, and he noticed the weak performance of robots in relief efforts at the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant.

As a fan of the international robot competitions organized by the United States Department of Defense in 2013 and 2015, Huang is aware of the weaknesses in even the winning robots.

Robots are often focused on a single action, such as climbing, he said.

"We tend not to do follow-up research but rather like to start a new subject, take a new direction. In a new direction, we may face new problems. We address them and will have a brand-new thing," he said.

"To this end, you have to be bold, because people may see it as impossible or meaningless. But when you make a successful first step, they will see the effect and recognize the way you do it. And you move forward."

In experiments, the Jet-HR1 is logging about 50 percent success. To improve its performance, it needs better engines and better systems for maintaining balance. If put in a real situation, it needs to be fixed with a microcomputer for calculation and a sensor for judging distances.

A longer-term goal for Huang's team is to enable the robot to jump to a higher floor of a building. The jet engines help reduce the impact when the robot performs dynamic motions, he said.

"Good research takes at least 10 years," Huang said.

The robot should be adaptable to demanding situations, such as performing work in an earthquake-damaged area or on the surface of another planet, he said.

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/201803/28/WS5abaea84a3105cdcf6514b9d.html

 

创新机器人学会如何“行走”

机器人士兵能够在科幻电影中穿越人间世界行动自如,其实在现实中的双腿机器人大多只能以小碎步向前行走,而且容易摔倒。但365bet官网-365bet体育在线网址 -365bet体育在线投注的实验人员用小型涵道风机固定在他们研发的机器人Biped的双足上并进行实验,结果机器人Biped能够在大跨步的时候保持平衡。

机器人Jet-HR1类似于人体的下半部分,它身高65厘米,重6.5公斤,可以跨越宽度达45.7厘米的距离,大约相当于机器人腿长的97%。

在过去两年中领导这项研究的自动化专业副主任黄之峰表示,在先前的其他仿人机器人研究中,机器人跨越宽度一般只是相当于其腿长的20%。我们改进之后的效率比其他类人机器人更高。

向前跨出一步对于人类来说很容易,因为他们可以通过使用动态行走或者不断前进来减轻摔倒的可能性。

但是对于准静态条件下的机器人来说,向前跨一步会给它们带来重大挑战。因为可跨越步长越大,其质心越靠近迈步的腿部,就越有可能摔倒。

一个涵道风扇喷气发动机重232克,但可以产生高达2公斤的推力,也就是三分之一的Jet-HR1总重量。计算一个涵道风扇喷气发动机推进的大小,以便机器人可以在不同的条件下进行不同的移动。该机器人的成果最近被发表在了国际专业组织IEEE电子和电子工程师学会的核心期刊IEEE Spectrum上。

2011年,日本遭遇大地震和海啸,当时黄之峰正在日本留学,他注意到机器人在受损的福岛核电站的救援工作中表现不佳。作为美国国防部在2013年和2015年举办的国际机器人比赛的粉丝,黄之峰明白即使是获奖机器人也是存有不足的。黄之峰说:“机器人往往专注于单一动作,如攀爬。”

“我们可能不会进行后续研究,而是会沿着新的方向,开始一个新课题。在一个新的方向,我们可能会面临新的问题,不过我相信我们能解决它们,并将会有一个全新的开始,”他说,“为此,你必须大胆。因为人们可能认为它是不可能或毫无意义的,但是当你成功迈出第一步时,他们会看到效果并肯定到你做到的成果,并且鼓励你向前迈进。”

在实验中,Jet-HR1的成功率大约50%。为了提高性能,它需要更好的引擎和更好的系统来保持平衡。如果放在实际的情况下,则需要用微型计算机进行计算和判断距离的传感器。黄之峰团队的长期目标是使机器人能够跳到建筑物的较高楼层。他说:“涵道风机有助于减少机器人进行动态运动时的影响。”

“一个好的研究方向至少需要10年不断研究下去,”黄之峰说, “机器人应该适应要求苛刻的情况,例如在地震受损区域或其他行星表面工作。”(袁为忠 译