Haptic robot HIRO III
HAPTIC ROBOT HIRO 3 – AN OVERVIEW
HIRO III stands for Haptic Interface Robot III. The robot transmits realistic touch-like sensations to the user’s fingertips. Due to the large number of controllable joints, the robot has a broad range of applications. Combined with its 3D display, the system creates a completely immersive environment for the user
HIRO III applications include the simulation of surgical and diagnostic procedures for medical students, control of humanoid robots via a network, and the transfer of recorded skills to a factory robot.
HIRO III – THE WORLD’S FIRST FIVE-FINGERED HAPTIC INTERFACE ROBOT
Haptic interfaces, which provide tactile sensations at human fingertips, can be utilized for robot tele-manipulation, scene simulation in virtual reality environments, educational training, and so on. The haptic interface is safe, has a wide workspace, and provides not only force at contact points, but also a feeling of weight for virtual objects. It is important to note that haptic interfaces do not create an oppressive feeling when attached to the human, and have no weight-feeling in themselves.
Research on haptic interfaces started in 2001 at Kawasaki and Mouri Laboratory, Gifu University, Japan. The multi-fingered humanoid Gifu Hand was used as a basis for development of the HIRO III (the Gifu hand also having been designed and created at the Gifu University.)
The original version of the HIRO III was a three-fingered robot called the Gifu Haptic Interface. Gradually, the size of the robot was minimized, the algorithm of the control system was improved, and the physically-based modelling of the object's behaviour in the virtual world was introduced. Recently, a 3D display has been added to the HIRO III, which allows the user to see a stereoscopic view, and touch the virtual object.
Unique to the HIRO III is the small size of the actuators it uses – actuators being the electrical motors with integrated gear boxes which are mounted inside the robot’s fingers and palm. The use of these eliminates the need for numerous tendons to move finger joints. This allows the robot to be more compact, and reduces the level of maintenance needed.
HIRO III allows for both position and force control, and is compatible with Linux operating systems.