ROURKELA: At a time when a large chunk of elderly population is forced to live a life of isolation, even in a bedridden state, a miniature robot promises help and companionship. Envisaged to act as a personal companion of those in bed at hospitals or elderly person at home, the functional primary prototype of the Flexible Universal Modular Robot (FUMoR) Version 1.0 has been developed at the National Institute of Technology - Rourkela (NIT-R).
A collaboration between a mathematics professor of the host institute Prof Snehasish Chakraverty and a senior scientist of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) Dr Debanik Roy, the project is funded by the Department of Science & Technology (DST).
FUMoR v1.0 is capable of intelligent and efficient grasping of very small objects such as medicines, cotton ball, paper clips, spoons and other engineering and medical/surgical components. It is designed to guide and help elderly persons at home in day-to-day needs like assistance in feeding and medicines.
Conceptualised and designed by Roy, who is also an adjunct professor of Homi Bhabha National Institute (HBNI), the dynamic model and vibration analysis of the system has been carried out by Chakraverty.
The unique features of the indigenously-built prototype include its miniature gripper, flexibility and portability, along with a flexible link in gooseneck structure, novel miniature gripper with infrared sensor, adjustable base height and vertical positioning and table-mounted mounted assembly for home and confined work space applications, explained Chakraverty.
Weighing around seven kilogram with a dimension of 400X600 mm, it has a translational motion of 0-100 mm and rotational motion of 0-270 degree. “In the next version, we hope to introduce voice-based command and face recognition feature and in a few years, it may be released as a commercial home appliance product,” said Roy.
Chakraverty said detailed analysis of the uncertain dynamic analysis of the flexible robot remains a challenge and they are working on ensuring precise grasp of tiny objects with better repeatability. NIT-R sources said further funding is needed to improve and add more features.
- Miniature gripper
- Flexible link in gooseneck structure
- Novel miniature gripper with infrared sensor
- Adjustable base height and vertical positioning
- Table-mounted assembly