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- Offer Profile
- We are investigating machine intelligence based on
mechanics and its related technologies including sensors and actuators.
Hirai Lab: Lab for integrated machine intelligence
- The goal of this research is to perform dexterous and
stable object manipulation using soft-fingered mechanical hands. The
location of a manipulated object measured by a realtime vision system and
the grasping force measured by a tactile sensor are fedback to the hand
motion to realize stable grasping and manipulation. We are interested in the
modeling of soft fingertips and the control law for grasping and
Non-Uniform Biological Object Modeling
- This research will establish a method to build the
deformation model of non-uniform biological objects based on their inner
measurement. We will obtain the deformation field inside the object using CT
and MRI to estimate non-uniform deformation parameters.
- In this research, we will investigate a robot that moves
over terrain via the deformation of tensegrity structure. The body consists
of rigid elements connected by tensional members. Deformation of tensegrity
structure yields the locomotion over terrain.
Crawling and Jumping Soft Robots
- In this research, we will develop a robot capable of
rough terrain locomotion by its rolling and jumping. A robot consisting of
deformable soft body and flexible actuators can roll and jump on a ground by
the deformation of its deformable body.
Belt Object Manipulation
- The goal of this research is to realize the manipulation
of belt objects such as flat cables and flexible circuit boards. Deformation
properties are estimated through visual observation of object deformation to
determine the trajectory of a manipulator handling the object.
- We develop a CMOS+FPGA vision system to perform fast
(1,000fps) and high-resolution (1,000x1,000 pixels) visual feedback. A CMOS
image sensor realizes fast capturing of successive images and an FPGA where
vision algorithms are implemented enables realtime computation of features
for visual feedback.
Micro Parts Feeding
- The goal of this project is to realize vibration drive of
micro electric parts such as chip condensers and resisters. We apply
asymmetric surface (saw-tooth surface) with symmetric vibration (sinusoidal
vibration) to realize one-directional motion of micro parts. We are
analyzing dynamics of micro parts during feeding.
Micro Pneumatic Valve
- We develop a micro pneumatic proportional valve that can
be embedded into pneumatic muscles and can control 0.5MPa air flow driving
the pneumatic muscles.
- This project aims at the development of a mechanical
system that performs unfolding of clothes. The unfolding consists of
grasping, expansion, and placing operatoins. We analyze dynamic expansion by
pinching slip motion.
The goal of this research is to control mechanisms including soft interface.
Through the simultaneous control of motion and deformation of a soft object
and the control of a loosely coupled joint, we reveal the interaction
between mechanics and control in the control of mechanisms with soft
Manipulation of Deformable Linear Objects
- In this research, we will explore the manipulation of
deformable linear objects such as cables, cords, and tubes. Based on linear
object modeling, we will establish control strategy to perform the
manipulation of linear objects.
Belt Object Modeling
- The goal of this research is to establish the modeling
method for deformable belt objects such as flat cables and flexible circuit
boards. A modeling method, which is based on differential geometry, is
developed to describe bend and twist of a belt object.
Integrated Sensors and intelligence Lab.
- Integrated Sensors and Intelligence Laboratory has been
established in 2009, and is aiming at developping intelligent sensing
systems for autonomous and adaptive robotic systems by integrating sensory,
intelligent and motor systems. Our research issues include intelligent
sensors, sensor fusion, neuromorphic systems, and vision-based robot
Intelligent vision systems for autonomous and adaptive
Neuromorphic vision chips
A silicon retina is an intelligent vision sensor that can execute real-time
image pre-processing by using a parallel analog circuit that mimics the
structure of the neuronal circuits in a vertebrate retina. In order to
enhance robustness against changes in lighting conditions, we designed and
fabricated a frame-based, wide dynamic range silicon retina with a
logarithmic illumination-to-voltage transfer characteristics. The chip
realized dynamic range wide enough for perceiving objects in both indoor and
Binocular robot vision that emulates neural mechanism of
- We have developped a binocular vision system that
emulates disparity computation in the neuronal circuit of the primary visual
cortex (V1). The system consists of two sets of silicon retinas and simple
cell chips that correspond to the binocular vision and field programmable
gate array (FPGA) circuit. This arrangement mimics the hierarchical
architecture of the visual system of the brain. Due to the combination of
the parallel and analog computation of the analog VLSIs and the pixel-wise
computation with hard-wired digital circuits, the present system can
efficiently compute the binocular disparity using compact hardware and low
power dissipation in real-time.
Vision-based navigation of small mobile robot
- We designed a low power and compact binocular robotic
vision system. The system consists of two silicon retinas and FPGA circuits
and can calculate depth map and velocity map in real-time. Algorithm of
computation we developed is inspired by the hierarchical architecture of the
neuronal network of the primary visual cortex. We applied the system to
vision-based navigation of a mobile robot, which is developped by Ishii Lab.
at Kyushu Institute of Technology, in a real environment.
Control / Operation of Underwater Robot with
- In this research, we have developed a human-sized
underwater robot (length; 700mm, diameter; 200mm) with two arms (total
length; 600mm) instead of expert divers (Figure 1). One serial-linked arm
has 5 DOF including 2 DOF of twisting/gripping of the hand. The
single-handed operator we have developed can drive the arms/body
simultaneously in this system (Figure 2). The mass of arms occupies 20% of
the whole body weight so that the attitude of the robot may change during
working. Movable flotation blocks keep/change the attitude to support the
working, shifting the center of buoyancy with respect to the center of
gravity (Figure 2, Figure 3). We have checked that this robot can work
several underwater tasks instead of humans through field works (See movies).
- Fig.1: Prototype (Coco)
- Fig.2: Concept
- Fig.3: Principle of changing the attitude by shifting
movable flotation blocks