Study of Crash Phenomenon for Humanoid Robot

Giovanna Beninati (Italian Institute of Technology)

CHALLENGE - Our study focuses on new possible cover solutions for robotic structures, lighter and more robust than existing solutions, with an ability to absorb shock energy due to strong collisions. In this paper we use virtual robotic models based on COMAN (COmpliant HuMANoid Platform) robot, our robotic reference structure in order to test protective performance.

SOLUTION - A multibody model was produced using Adams software to efficiently model and categorize unbalancing forces on the robotic structure, selecting the most dangerous scenario and the associated fall configuration and kinetic energy. The Fem (Finite Elements Method) model of the robot was built using LS-Dyna software. The optimizer modeFRONTIER pilots a parameterized force through all the robotic structure and to assess the criticality of the unbalancing force in any possible contact configuration with robotic structure. Two different solutions are compared: the standard protective cover of the robot made of Polycarbonate, and the new one, made of a sandwich structure of Polycarbonate and EPP (Expanded Polypropylene). 

BENEFITS - The results of crash tests using the robotic ‘sandwich cover’ made of layers of Polycarbonate and EPP, show a good improvement of protective performance compared with ‘standard cover’ made of Polycarbonate material. This study has proven that a robot cover made of a sandwich structure with a foam core has an excellent performance in terms of shock absorption. Testing using multibody and Fem technology including modeFRONTIER, is not time intensive and has yielded excellent results for this material.