CAD solves cabling challenge for next generation robot
The human-symbiotic robot TWENDY-ONE has been researched and developed by Sugano Laboratory (headed by Professor Shigeki Sugano of Waseda University) and private-sector businesses. Professor Sugano is well known for his research in the area of arm and finger manipulations. In 1999, his team developed WENDY (Waseda ENgineering Designed sYmbiont) – a human-symbiotic robot that had dexterous hands with human-like fingertips and succeeded in breaking an egg flawlessly for the first time in the world. Professor Sugano’s team made full use of Pro/ENGINEER to develop TWENDY-ONE, a prototype of the new generation human-symbiotic robot based on the WENDY technology for supporting daily human activities.
The project team used the Pro/ENGINEER Piping and Cabling Extension, which enables users to define cable properties parametrically and to find optimal routes automatically. Because more actuators and sensors are required to enhance the robot’s capability, the team had to increase the number of cables. Additionally, as the team deploys higher-output actuators, thicker cables had to be introduced, making cabling design a major challenge in developing high-performance robots.
TWENDY-ONE has a large number of sensors and actuators all over its body, which inevitably requires many cables and advanced engineering techniques. But with the cabling capabilities of Pro/ENGINEER, the project team succeeded in generating accurate cable routings just by specifying certain points on the cable routes and also in updating the cable design automatically when changes were made.
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