Robotics & Mechatronics


A new generation of humanoid robots

1st Quarter 2013 Robotics & Mechatronics

A pioneering project by the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the University of Zurich, is developing one of the most modern humanoid robots around. More than 50 brushless maxon drives are responsible for the humanoid’s accurate movements. The robot is getting a new face and can already move his arms. On 9 March, 2013, Roboy will be presented to the public at the Robots on Tour robotics exhibition, held in Zurich to mark the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the laboratory.

The torso of the 1,3 m robot has been completed and assembled. The two arms are finished and can move; furthermore Roboy has now received a new face. This friendly face is projected onto the head of the robot with a miniature projector and gives him a whole range of facial expressions, making his human-like appearance almost perfect. Roboy will also be able to recognise faces that he has learned beforehand. Roboy has been designed as a humanoid tendon-controlled robot – in most robots the motors are in the joints; this will enable him to move almost as elegantly as a human.

More than 50 high precision motors

As main project partner, maxon motor supplies various brushless DC drives to provide Roboy with controlled movement. In total, more than 50 maxon motors, combined with gearheads and encoders, have been installed in the robot. Additionally, all electronic components are from maxon motor. To control the motors and execute Roboy’s movements, a master/slave system has been set up using the digital positioning controllers of the maxon EPOS2 series.

Programming of the control functions on the slave system was performed in cooperation with maxon engineers. maxon has many years of experience in robotics in medical technology, industrial automation and the astronautics industry. Currently maxon products are in use in the two Mars Rovers, Curiosity and Opportunity.

For more information contact Hans Burri, DNH Tradeserve, +27 (0)11 468 2722, hans.burri@dnhtrade.co.za, www.dnhtrade.co.za



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