Kollmorgen Enters 'CHIMP' Humanoid Robot Into Robotics Challenge

Source: From the ControlDesign.com News Desk

Jun 26, 2013


CHIMP's drive joints.
Source: Kollmorgen
Kollmorgen has teamed up with the National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC), the applied research and technology transfer organization of Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), and other technology sponsors to design and build an advanced humanoid robot for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge.

The Tartan Rescue Team's (made up of Kollmorgen and partners) submitted CMU Highly Intelligent Mobile Platform (CHIMP) for its entry for the challenge. CHIMP uses Kollmorgen's  frameless motors technology in each of its drive joints to deliver advanced functionality and performance benefits, according to Kollmorgen. The built-in-advanced technology open doors to new mobile manipulation and manufacturing automation applications.

"The CHIMP design explicitly avoids many of the dynamic stability issues associated with humanoid robots," said Steve DiAntonio, director for NREC business development. "Tracks on all four limbs provide CHIMP with better mobility and with stability while opening doors, using tools and turning valves. Sensors at the head and limbs provide the perception and feedback needed for CHIMP to manipulate objects, remove debris and travel safely through the environment. The hardware components and software methods that form CHIMP are standalone technologies that, in their own right, offer new automation capabilities for facility maintenance, manufacturing and material handling."

CHMIP uses four of Kollmoren's custom frameless motor sizes and seven modified KBM Series frameless motors. CHIMP's drive joints, made up of Kollmorgen motors integrated with gearing and housing components, deliver multi-limb manipulation and human-like grasping capabilities that are not found in today's robots.

"The Tartan Team looked to Kollmorgen to help maximize its competitive advantage through high-performance motor technology, as well as our application and design expertise," said Dave Graff, regional sales manager for custom motor solutions at Kollmorgen. "Kollmorgen engineers worked to design a compact and high-power density motor, and worked hand and hand with CMU's engineers to develop the high power joint that really makes the human-like capabilities possible."

The Tartan Rescue Team had a Critical Design Review with DARPA in June. The team will soon begin testing CHIMP's ability to perform tasks specified by DARPA that will be evaluated during the first challenge on Dec. 21 in an undetermined Southern U.S. city.