STMicroelectronics and Waseda University Humanoid Robotics Institute Unveil High-Performance Two-Wheel Inverted Pendulum Robot via R&D Cooperation
STMicroelectronics , one of the world’s leading semiconductor companies, and the Waseda University Humanoid Robotics Institute (HRI), a global leader in state-of-the-art robotics research, today announced the development of a high-performance two-wheel inverted pendulum robot, called WV-1 (Waseda wheeled Vehicle-No.1), which is the first result of an ongoing cooperation for the research and development of technology and solutions for innovative humanoid robots and medical-care robot systems. The WV-1 will be displayed at the ST booth (Booth No. 8K26) at CEATEC JAPAN 2008 to be held at the “Makuhari Messe” in Chiba Prefecture from September 30 to October 4, 2008.
ST and HRI are cooperating to use leading-edge semiconductor know-how to promote the speedier development of innovative ‘humanoids’ and medical-care robotic systems, involving researchers and development engineers from both ST and HRI. ST will become a supplier to HRI for semiconductor products, while also furnishing HRI with the leading-edge semiconductor prototypes on a cost-free basis, making it possible for HRI to conduct advanced evaluations of possible humanoid and medical-care robotic applications. In addition, future cooperation between ST and HRI is expected to include the establishment of an ST-sponsored scholarship system for HRI students.
“With expectations running high for the growth of humanoid and medical-care robotic systems markets, semiconductor-fueled innovation is an extremely important field,” said Marco Cassis, Corporate Vice President and President of STMicroelectronics K.K., ST’s subsidiary in Japan. “By combining HRI’s globally renowned breakthroughs in robotics and ST’s highly advanced know-how in semiconductor technology, we are confident in our ability to accelerate technological innovation in humanoid robotics and medical-care robot systems. We are very pleased to announce the development of this robot, in addition to our cooperative relationship with HRI, the first that ST has established with a Japanese university.”
“Robotics Technology (RT) is expected to be a fundamental technology for the sustainable development of human society in the 21st century and is expected to be widely applied in manufacturing industries as well as in such industries such as nursing care and medical treatment as well as in industries confronted by food and environmental issues,” said Professor Shuji Hashimoto, Director of the Waseda University HRI. “HRI has been researching and developing advanced intelligent robots for the next generation through the integration of machine technology and information technology. The introduction of cutting-edge microelectronics technology is essential to the realization of such robots. We thus have high expectations that our cooperation with ST will accelerate our research. In addition, we will pursue a new model of industrial-academic cooperation through concrete cooperative activities with ST in education and research fields.”
The WV-1 is a two-wheeled robot on which a pole with weights is installed in an inverted fashion on a pedestal. A feedback system, controlled with the STM32, ST’s ARM(R) Cortex(TM)-M3 based 32-bit MCU and the LIS344ALH 3-axis digital acceleration sensor, allows the robot to move while maintaining its balance. The MCU rapidly computes the angle of robot body incline, angular velocity and other sensor data, enabling the motor to constantly generate optimum torque, which allows the robot to continue moving smoothly without tipping over. Potential applications for this inverted pendulum robot control technology include postural control functions for humanoids and other devices, realizing new means of mobility.
HRI received a grant from “the project for reinforcement of development technologies for robotics” from The Robotics Industry Development Council. The grant was used for the development of the WV-1. Additionally, HRI is now working on plans to commercialize the robot.