Professor Chee-Meng Chew at the Legged Locomotion Group of National University of Singapore is developing a bipedal robot named ASLAN. The robot stands 120cm (4′) tall and they expect it to weigh 60kg (132 lbs) when completed (with head and exoskeleton, which are still missing). The goal is to create a robot that can walk dynamically on even and uneven terrain.
“With our earlier biped, the gear heads were not suitable for high torque applications. The actual implementation has resulted in high wear and tear in the drive mechanisms. Now we don’t have this problem. Being able to exert and withstand large torques at the joints are important as the robot structure is subject to regular impact needed to support exchange between left and right legs during walking. It can also perform tasks such as squatting with more ease.
“The robot needs to be able to traverse most terrains that humans usually experience so that it will be able to co-exist with humans. Our team will actively explore new locomotion algorithms or gaits for bipedal robots. The new gaits must be robust and efficient. We may one day, through robots, discover how to enable those who have lost the ability of their limbs, to walk again.” – Prof. Chew
Completed in early 2009, ASLAN is the third version of the NUS biped (the first was completed in 2003), and appears to be at about the level of KAIST’s KHR 1, making it one of the most advanced humanoid robots in Singapore next to RoboErectus Senior I. It should be interesting to see this robot evolve over the coming years. A few videos of ASLAN follow after the break.