Unity is strength, IIT knows it and in recent years has created partnerships with world leaders in the mechanical, optical and industrial fields to get the most out of joint research projects. It is still the case of cooperation with the multinational US-made Moog, listed on NASDAQ and player in components for the aviation industry with 2.5 billion dollars in revenue, for the construction of a four-legged autonomous robots able to assist or even replace human beings in civil protection and in hazardous work areas.
The Moog@IIT joint laboratories are intended to present a working prototype in 3 years, at this time they will work closely together to melt and refine the two technology hearts made available by the two subsidiaries: robotics platform HyQ IIT and the Moog hydraulic actuator.
The robot will have 4 legs, 12 joints for weight 80kg with a body made of coated aluminium alloy, however, by a structure of black glass and Kevlar fibers to protect the central computer and the hydraulic components from shock and foreign bodies. The hydraulic actuator which will control the movement is made with 3D printing technology in titanium powder and is able to develop a force of 400 N, the valves have a frequency of 350 Hertz, a pressure up to 200 atmospheres and a weight of only 920 grams by 23 centimeters in length. The sensors are able to drive it on any terrain, adapting the step and the movements with respect to the conformation of the soil and are able to feel the obstacles with the legs to bypass them.
IIT and Moog had already worked on the iCub project, the boy robot, realizing the electric motors that trigger in Moog’s Italian headquarters in Casella; this second experience is out of awareness that the robot industry for emergency applications such as earthquakes, fires and nuclear disasters is booming seen increasing investments that are operating the United States, China, Japan and South Korea.
The challenge is to make the new robots more agile, light and performing and industrialize them into a commercial version.