Maple plays a significant role in creating Humanoid Robots - User Case Studies - Maplesoft

User Case Study: Maple plays a significant role in creating Humanoid Robots

Interview with Professor Atsuo Takanishi, Department of Mechanical Engineering, School of Science and Engineering, Waseda University


Question 1:

Can you define humanoid robots and give us some idea about their roles and duties?

Professor Takanishi: Technically speaking, humanoid robots are anthropomorphic robots. Research on anthropomorphic robots was started at Waseda University in the mid-60s by the late Professor Ichiro Kato, one of the first researchers in the world, in this field. The robots developed by Waseda University became well known under the WABOT Series. The year 1973 saw the first full-scale anthropomorphic robot called WABOT-1. WABOT-2’s (1984) specialty was that it could give musical performances. Then came the WABIAN robot, short for WAseda BIpeal HumANoid. The WABIAN robot can be connected to a network and can walk on its two feet.

Currently we are working on the development of WABIAN-2, which will be able to function more actively in the human environment. For example, it can address problems and identify suitable solutions, like a human being. The robot will integrate information from sensors and show coordinated actions which realize a high level of communication with a human, without any special training, using multimedia such as speech, facial expression and body movement.

The humanoid robot research lab at the Waseda University employs more than 100 researchers who energetically pursue collaborative research with other enterprises and public organizations.

Some wonder why we do extensive research in the field of Robotics. One belief is that the execution and implementation of various partial functions of the anthropomorphic robot will lead to better scientific understanding of human beings. It is believed that in future this understanding will help us create knowledge and information in a manner engineered specifically for us.

Some examples of potential applications include:
• medical care and rehabilitation efforts where apparatuses for walking support is crucial
• enciphering and digitalizing of human emotions in the programming of human consciousness

Question 2:

How do you use Maple when you conduct robot’s numeric manipulation at your Lab?

Professor Takanishi: Maple is used in the derivation of control system designs of kinematic equations and inverse kinematic equations. Maple is also used for the conversion of the program models that are compiled in C language or for conversion of their outcome.

Question 3:

Why did you choose Maple? And is there any other software that you use for numeric manipulation?

Professor Takanishi: For more than 10 years, Maple has been used in the research and development of control systems and other mechanical activities.

Maple helps me not just in simulation, but also in the development of the actual robot from C language. It allows me to manage and control robots by easily incorporating enormous C codes within its environment. I am extremely grateful for Maple’s capabilities.

Thanks to Maple technology, we have received the Robot Academy Award and the Best Paper Award in International Conference of IEEE Robotics and Automation Society.

Question 4:

What are the future plans for humanoid robots?

Professor Takanishi: WABIAN-2’s sibling, a new type called KYOMORI, is under development in Italy and Taiwan.

About Humanoid Robotics Institute, Waseda University, Japan:
Waseda University has been one of the leading research sites for anthropomorphic robots. Waseda University established the Humanoid Robotics Institute in April 2000, to promote research activities that construct a new relationship between humans and machines in the advanced information society. Essentially, it is expected that a robot will provide assistance in housework, for aged people and for entertainment to keep up the amenities of life and human environment in the next century.

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