Design of a Humanoid Robot for Disaster Response
Lee, Bryce Kenji Tim-Sung
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This study focuses on the design and implementation of a humanoid robot for disaster response. In particular, this thesis investigates the lower body design in detail with the upper body discussed at a higher level. The Tactical Hazardous Operations Robot (THOR) was designed to compete in the DARPA Robotics Challenge where it needs to complete tasks based on first-responder operations. These tasks, ranging from traversing rough terrain through driving a utility vehicle, suggest a versatile platform in a human sized form factor. A physical experiment of the proposed tasks generated a set of joint range of motions (RoM). Desired limb lengths were determined by comparing existing robots, the test subject in the experiment of proposed tasks, and an average human. Simulations using the desired RoM and limb lengths were used to calculate baseline joint torques. Based on the generated design constraints, THOR is a 34 degree of freedom humanoid that stands 1.78 [m] tall and weighs 65 [kg]. The 12 lower body joints are driven by series elastic linear actuators with multiple joints actuated in parallel. The parallel actuation mimics the human body, where multiple muscles pull on the same joint cooperatively. The legs retain high joint torques throughout their large RoM with some joints achieving torques as high as 289 [Nm]. The upper body uses traditional rotary actuators to drive the waist, arms, and head. The proprioceptive sensor selection was influenced by past experience on humanoid platforms, and perception sensors were selected to match the competition.
- Masters Theses