Mechatronic Design of a Fast and Long Range 4 Degrees of Freedom Humanoid Neck

Mechatronic Design of a Fast and Long Range 4 Degrees of Freedom Humanoid Neck

A mechatronic design of a humanoid neck is presented. To research human machine interaction, the head and neck combination should be able to approach the human behavior as much as possible. We present a novel humanoid neck concept that is both fast, and has a long range of motion in 4 degrees of freedom (DOFs). This enables the head to track fast objects, and the neck design is suitable for mimicking expressions.

The humanoid neck features a differential drive design for the lower 2 DOFs resulting in a low moving mass and the ability to use strong actuators. The performance of the neck has been optimized by minimizing backlash in the mechanisms, and by using gravity compensation. Two cameras in the head are used for scanning and interaction with the environment.

First versions of the humanoid head: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_-jC3JrUKw

Later version of the head: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tw8_JdIuWQg

Fig. 1. The independent DOFs in a top to bottom order: lower pitch, yaw, roll and upper pitch.

For more information:

D.M. Brouwer, J. Bennik, J. Leideman, H.M.J.R. Soemers and S. Stramigioli, Mechatronic Design of a Fast and Long Range 4 Degrees of Freedom Humanoid Neck, ICRA, Kobe, Japan, 12-17 May 2009, ThB8.2. pp. 574-579. doi: 10.1109/ROBOT.2009.5152585

R. Reilink, L.C. Visser, J. Bennik, R. Carloni, D. M. Brouwer and S. Stramigioli, The Twente humanoid head, IEEE Int. Conf. Robotics and Automation, Kobe, Japan, 12-17 May 2009 Page(s):1593 - 1594 Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/ROBOT.2009.5152436, video contribution http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/ROBOT.2009.5152436