|38||NannyBot for Robots Developing to Walk
||Alejandro Diaz De Argandona Araujo
A common way for robots to learn to walk is through trial and error. The robot walks, falls, records the failure, and walks again and repeats the process until it learns to walk stably. However, this learning process requires many failures. This process is tedious, as people need to manually bring it up and back to the starting place. It can be costly if the robot becomes damaged when it falls, and even dangerous if a person makes a mistake when trying to put it back up and bring it back. There are methods that make the robot, such as installing a motor and strings to reel in the robot when it falls. However, these methods require installation, which may not be possible in all environments.
The process of robots learning to walk would be greatly simplified and much safer if it was aided by another robot, specifically designed for the purpose. Our idea is to create a robot, namely a NannyBot, that can aid the robots learning to walk. Instead of humans, our robot would follow the robot learning to walk, and pick the said robot up when it falls. It would be a wheeled robot, so that it won’t fall over, and it would have a strap tied to the walking robot, and lift the robot using the strap. This robot will be controlled by a human user by a wired controller (such as a video game controller like an Xbox controller), who will use the robot to follow the walking robot and bring it back when it falls. It would not require installation anywhere, and therefore be relatively unrestricted by the environment. The robot will have omni-directional wheels, allowing it to follow any direction the robot may go. The NannyBot will have a skeletal box shaped structure, with one side open, and have 4 strings attached to a strap attached to the walking robot. When the human controlling the NannyBot pushes a button, the 4 strings will wind, bringing the walking robot up into the air. The NannyBot will then return with the walking robot the where it started. The target of this Nannybots are walking robots of size approximately 30cm*30cm*50cm, and 5kg heavy. A possible robot to use this on is Robotis OP2, which Professor Kim Joohyung, the professor who pitched this project, has. The Robotis OP2 has a default walking speed of 24cm/sec, which we will aim to match.
Originally, the idea was to have this done completely autonomously, but the TAs we talked to told us that the idea was beyond the scope of the class, and that we needed to simplify it.
The structure of the NannyBot may be difficult to understand, so we attached a of the rough drawing of the structure of the Nannybot as photo.
Solution Components: -
- The NannyBot will have straps attached to it, used to lift the walking robot when it falls. The straps will be connected to the walking robot as well. There will be four strings, each on an upper corner of the NannyBot, which will bring up the walking robot stably when it is lifted.
- The structure of the NannyBot will have a box shape, partially surrounding the walking robot, so that the NannyBot can withstand the walking robot’s weight as it lifts the walking robot
- Aside from the straps, NannyBot’s dimensions will be big enough from the walking robot so it will not impede the walking robot’s path, or have the walking robot crash into the NannyBot when it falls.
- We will use omni directional wheels for the NannyBot, so that it can follow the walking robot in any direction.
- We will require powerful motors with encoders for lifting the walking robot, and powerful motors for the wheels as well, as the NannyBot is expected to return to the beginning place with the walking robot.
Criterion for Success:
- Provide a mechanical structure that can support the robot.
- Have the NannyBot move in direction of robot with the help of a controller.
- Have the NannyBot be unable to accidently crash into the walking robot.
- Upon receiving a command from the controller, the NannyBot should be able to pick up the robot.
- The NannyBot should be strong enough to bring the walking robot back to the starting point.
- Have the NannyBot automatically track the robot.
- Have the NannyBot sense when the robot has fallen down and pick the robot up after this detection.