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In order to employ service robots in domestic environments, it is necessary to adapt these robots to the human’s living space in the best possible way. Legged walking machines allow the climbing of stairs and stepping over small obstacles without the need of circumnavigating them. Depending on the specific application a different design with two, four, or six legs will be the most appropriate choice. We decided to build a system with humanoid shape based on two legs, because this allows for stable standing and dynamic walking with a small support area. From a sciencific point of view this system allows for fundamental research on dynamic walking and multi-contact interaction in general human environments.
TORO is a bipedal humanoid robot based on the legs of the former DLR-Biped. For research on multi-contact interaction and dynamic whole body motion, an upper body with two six DOF arms and actuated waist was designed based on the torque controlled drive technology of the DLR lightweight arms, similar to the previous design of the DLR-Biped. In order to fit on the legged basis and to reduce load during walking, a redesign of the hip construction was necessary. The first two shoulder joints are assembled by a segment of the DLR lightweight robot arm, while the remaining segments were customized. For interaction with the environment, the arms are equipped with articulated hands. Since TORO will be used mainly for research on control oriented problems related to whole body dynamics, we decided for rather simple but robust prosthetic hands. These hands allow for robust interaction with the environment, but would be limited in terms of dexterous manipulation. For environment perception and egomotion estimation, the system is equipped by an actuated head with stereo cameras, IMU, and Kinect sensor. TORO has a total weight of about 75 kg and a height of about 160 cm.
The main data and distribution of joints in TORO are outlined in the following table...
Acknowledgements: The development of TORO was supported by the Initiative and Networking Fund of the Helmholtz Association (HGF) via the Young Investigators research Group NG808.