A new generation humanoid robot platform

Examensarbete för masterexamen
Master Thesis
Applied mechanics (MPAME), MSc
Magnus, Wahlstrand
There are many tasks that humans for different reasons are unwilling or unfit to do. Examples are, for instance, dangerous tasks such as handling toxic waste or monotonous tasks, like working in assembly lines. The hope is that robots one day can do tasks like these for us. Even though a lot of progress has been made in robotics in the last few decades, it is clear that a lot of work and research remains for this goal to be fulfilled. This master thesis describes a process of upgrading Kondo, a small humanoid robot, from a basic robot with no sensory capabilities to a more advanced robotic platform. The hope is that the improved platform can be used to facilitate further research in several fields of robotics such as human-robot interaction, adaptive control and evolutionary robotics. In order to perform this upgrade, the servo controller of existing platform was replaced by a new programmable servo controller. Furthermore, a sensor module with an accelerometer and distance sensors was designed and added to the platform, giving Kondo sensory capabilities. To complete the system, a two part software interface was created. This included a graphical user interface to directly control the robot and create motion sequences and a Python class interface for prototyping and more advanced programs. The resulting platform was tested in order to ensure that it fulfilled the objectives stipulated in the project. The tests included hardware testing, i.e. testing the actual motion of the robot and the communication between to and from the electronic modules. The platform’s configurability was also tested by implementing three common robotic features, including automated fall recovery and wall avoidance. The results of these tests indicate that the basic functionality of the new platform, such as walking and standing, is rather robust. The speed of the developed gait however, can be improved. The platform is relatively easy to extend and modify therefore can be used in education or in robotic research. A weakness of the current platform is the number of connections needed to power and communicate with the electronic boards. Decreasing this number is something that could be worked on in future projects in order to increase the robot’s autonomy.
Annan naturvetenskap , Robotteknik och automation , Other Natural Sciences , Robotics
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