Recently, we feel something more familiar to robots due to developing products of cleaning robot and security robot.
Current home electric appliances such as television, cleaner and digital camera have many functions, and become a sort of robots in home environments.
Intelligent robotic system is composed not of a single technique but of many types of techniques such as image processing, acoustical signal processing, control, machine engineering, and network system.
Therefore, it is considered that robots are good examples and platforms to find research issue and feedback the solution to other general products such as home electric appliances.
Mitsuharu Matsumoto Laboratory has some humanoid robots such as Robovie-II and Nuvo, and some autonomous mobile robots. We aim to apply our developed technologies in acoustical signal processing, image processing and tactile/haptic technologies to them.
We also develop new type robots to overcome current problems of typical robot systems.
Mitsuharu Matsumoto Laboratory progresses our research to understand human from the relation between human and machine such as:
- Transformable device that can switch between rigid and soft body
-Balance control of humanoid robot by using tactile information
- Nonverbal human-machine interaction using light interface
Transformable device that can switch between rigid and soft body
The materials for transformable robots can roughly be categorized into two types, that is, rigid body and soft body. They have different features, and have merits and demerits, respectively.
rigid body have high stiffness, and are suitable for carrying and holding objects.
However, they may injure users if they contact.
Robots with soft body has high flexibility and can contact safely. However, they have difficulty in keeping particular shapes and are fragile against external force. In this study, we propose the devices that can switch rigid and soft body to solve the problems.
Safe storage using robotic technology
In this study, we propose a concept of safe storage using robotic technology. Handling problem is how to store real objects safely using robotic system.
When we store real objects, strong box is usually used.
Even when strong box is employed,
the goods in custody including the strong box may be stolen
as storage place and the goods in custody stay at the same place.
This study aims to solve this problem, and proposes an approach using robotic technology.
Balance control of humanoid robot using simple tactile sensor
We are studying balance control of humanoid robot using a simple tactile sensor. We attempt to balance the robot only using tactile information from the sole of feet. The humanoid robot could sense the inclined slopes and balance with two legs and one leg. We are also studying humanoid robot walking in more unstable environments.
Application of tactile sensor to welding system
We apply our tactile system to welding machines and attempt to develop automatic welding systems.
Nonverbal interaction based on virtual field model
We are studying a unified interaction model to handle contact interaction and non-contact interaction. In our approach, we set a virtual field like gravity field around the robot, and aim to control the robot throughout the virtual field.