Following the success of PALAIOMATION I project, involving the development of four legged autonomous robot systems, the present initiative is focusing on the continuation of the research towards more sophisticated systems of larger scale. The PALAIOMATION I CRAFT project (1995 1997) demonstrated the feasibility of the integration of self contained systems with a length of 2 m and a mass of 12 kg, achieving the remarkable autonomy of around 1 h. The PALAIOMATION II project aims to further develop the technology of freely moving, self contained electrically actuated systems, offering full autonomy, controllability and higher versatility. Such systems represent a new generation of Museum exhibits, into which the industrial SMEs of the project are aiming to invest . Additionally, the technological potential of the legged robot mobility platforms is expected to be exploited for a number of hazard related activities. The PALAIOMATION II project will have as target the development of four legged systems able to reach 3.5 m of length and a total estimated mass of 80 kg. Such systems will not only be more adequate and impressive as Museum exhibits, but can be expected to become useful in other applications such as hazardous area intervention, remote handling of material and equipment etc. In order to guarantee an acceptable commercial future of the projected development, a satisfactory ratio of performance/cost should be achieved. The following is a list of projected final achievements: - Components cost of the overall system (prototype level): less than 50 kecu - Length of the robot replica system: 3.5 m - Actuation: Electrical - Degrees of freedom: 12 for legs plus minimum 5 (head, tail) - Mass: 80 kg not including payload - Usefull payload: 16 kg (Batteries and possibly other equipment) - Max speed: 5 km / h - Autonomy: max 2 hours - Ground adaptability (slopes up to 6 % ) - Adaptive gait generation - Obstacle avoidance - Manoeuvring in front of obstacles - Foothold placement detection - Possibility to link with remote control station - Power management capacity and graceful shutdown in case of power shortage Gradually, a large number of potential application are expected to become open for highly sophisticated autonomous or tale operated robotic systems. These include land mine detection and disposal, handling of hazardous materials, dismantling within contaminated areas etc. It can also be expected that through the proposed development, a rapid drop of the cost of such robotic systems will also open the way towards other applications for ground adaptive, highly efficient mobile platforms, such as areas of agricultural harvesting and forestry.
Funding SchemeCRS - Cooperative research contracts
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