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Thursday, 23 June 2011

Developing Robot Having Flexible Skeleton Covered by Muscle

June 23, 2011


The researchers at the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the University of Zurich have come up with an innovative robot, named ECCEROBOT-2, which is built on a solid yet flexible skeleton that is covered with mechanical muscles and tendons.

The mechanical muscles of the robot are built to emulate the functioning of human muscles by using an elastic cord, which is attached to a powerful maxon servo motor. The motor winds or unwinds based on the direction of the spinning. The elasticity of the human muscles is mimicked by the marine-strength rubber rope.

The actuators are controlled by 80 DC motors, which bring about movement resembling that of humans in the closest way ever achieved in the field of robotic so far. The design of the robot is entirely dependent on the motors that offer high torque in limited space. The maxon motors were chosen due to their ability to maintain the elasticity with uniform tension and to work opposite to the direction of natural pull. The researchers were impressed by the performance of the motor that they have decided to use them in all humanoid robots that they would work on in the future.

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