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  • In 2015, 25 teams from around the world

  • competed to build robots for disaster response

  • that could perform a number of tasks,

  • such as using a power tool,

  • working on uneven terrain

  • and driving a car.

  • That all sounds impressive, and it is,

  • but look at the body of the winning robot, HUBO.

  • Here, HUBO is trying to get out of a car,

  • and keep in mind,

  • the video is sped up three times.

  • (Laughter)

  • HUBO, from team KAIST out of Korea, is a state-of-the-art robot

  • with impressive capabilities,

  • but this body doesn't look all that different

  • from robots we've seen a few decades ago.

  • If you look at the other robots in the competition,

  • their movements also still look, well, very robotic.

  • Their bodies are complex mechanical structures

  • using rigid materials

  • such as metal and traditional rigid electric motors.

  • They certainly weren't designed

  • to be low-cost, safe near people

  • and adaptable to unpredictable challenges.

  • We've made good progress with the brains of robots,

  • but their bodies are still primitive.

  • This is my daughter Nadia.

  • She's only five years old

  • and she can get out of the car way faster than HUBO.

  • (Laughter)

  • She can also swing around on monkey bars with ease,

  • much better than any current human-like robot could do.

  • In contrast to HUBO,

  • the human body makes extensive use of soft and deformable materials

  • such as muscle and skin.

  • We need a new generation of robot bodies

  • that is inspired by the elegance, efficiency and by the soft materials

  • of the designs found in nature.

  • And indeed, this has become the key idea of a new field of research

  • called soft robotics.

  • My research group and collaborators around the world

  • are using soft components inspired by muscle and skin

  • to build robots with agility and dexterity

  • that comes closer and closer

  • to the astonishing capabilities of the organisms found in nature.

  • I've always been particularly inspired by biological muscle.

  • Now, that's not surprising.

  • I'm also Austrian, and I know that I sound a bit like Arnie, the Terminator.

  • (Laughter)

  • Biological muscle is a true masterpiece of evolution.

  • It can heal after damage

  • and it's tightly integrated with sensory neurons

  • for feedback on motion and the environment.

  • It can contract fast enough to power the high-speed wings

  • of a hummingbird;

  • it can grow strong enough to move an elephant;

  • and it's adaptable enough to be used in the extremely versatile arms

  • of an octopus,

  • an animal that can squeeze its entire body through tiny holes.

  • Actuators are for robots what muscles are for animals:

  • key components of the body

  • that enable movement and interaction with the world.

  • So if we could build soft actuators,

  • or artificial muscles,

  • that are as versatile, adaptable

  • and could have the same performance as the real thing,

  • we could build almost any type of robot

  • for almost any type of use.

  • Not surprisingly, people have tried for many decades

  • to replicate the astonishing capabilities of muscle,

  • but it's been really hard.

  • About 10 years ago,

  • when I did my PhD back in Austria,

  • my colleagues and I rediscovered

  • what is likely one of the very first publications on artificial muscle,

  • published in 1880.

  • \"On the shape and volume changes of dielectric bodies

  • caused by electricity,\"

  • published by German physicist Wilhelmntgen.

  • Most of you know him as the discoverer of the X-ray.

  • Following his instructions, we used a pair of needles.

  • We connected it to a high-voltage source,

  • and we placed it near a transparent piece of rubber

  • that was prestretched onto a plastic frame.

  • When we switched on the voltage,

  • the rubber deformed,

  • and just like our biceps flexes our arm,

  • the rubber flexed the plastic frame.

  • It looks like magic.

  • The needles don't even touch the rubber.

  • Now, having two such needles is not a practical way

  • of operating artificial muscles,

  • but this amazing experiment got me hooked on the topic.

  • I wanted to create new ways to build artificial muscles

  • that would work well for real-world applications.

  • For the next years, I worked on a number of different technologies

  • that all showed promise,

  • but they all had remaining challenges that are hard to overcome.

  • In 2015,

  • when I started my own lab at CU Boulder,

  • I wanted to try an entirely new idea.

  • I wanted to combine the high speed and efficiency

  • of electrically driven actuators

  • with the versatility of soft, fluidic actuators.

  • Therefore, I thought,

  • maybe I can try using really old science in a new way.

  • The diagram you see here

  • shows an effect called Maxwell stress.

  • When you take two metal plates

  • and place them in a container filled with oil,

  • and then switch on a voltage,

  • the Maxwell stress forces the oil up in between the two plates,

  • and that's what you see here.

  • So the key idea was,

  • can we use this effect to push around oil

  • contained in soft stretchy structures?

  • And indeed, this worked surprisingly well,

  • quite honestly, much better than I expected.

  • Together with my outstanding team of students,

  • we used this idea as a starting point

  • to develop a new technology called HASEL artificial muscles.

  • HASELs are gentle enough to pick up a raspberry

  • without damaging it.

  • They can expand and contract like real muscle.

  • And they can be operated faster than the real thing.

  • They can also be scaled up to deliver large forces.

  • Here you see them lifting a gallon filled with water.

  • They can be used to drive a robotic arm,

  • and they can even self-sense their position.

  • HASELs can be used for very precise movement,

  • but they can also deliver very fluidic, muscle-like movement

  • and bursts of power to shoot up a ball into the air.

  • When submerged in oil,

  • HASEL artificial muscles can be made invisible.

  • So how do HASEL artificial muscles work?

  • You might be surprised.

  • They're based on very inexpensive, easily available materials.

  • You can even try, and I recommend it,

  • the main principle at home.

  • Take a few Ziploc bags and fill them with olive oil.

  • Try to push out air bubbles as much as you can.

  • Now take a glass plate and place it on one side of the bag.

  • When you press down, you see the bag contract.

  • Now the amount of contraction is easy to control.

  • When you take a small weight, you get a small contraction.

  • With a medium weight, we get a medium contraction.

  • And with a large weight, you get a large contraction.

  • Now for HASELs, the only change is to replace the force of your hand

  • or the weight with an electrical force.

  • HASEL stands for \"hydraulically amplified self-healing electrostatic actuators.\"

  • Here you see a geometry called Peano-HASEL actuators,

  • one of many possible designs.

  • Again, you take a flexible polymer such as our Ziploc bag,

  • you fill it with an insulating liquid, such as olive oil,

  • and now, instead of the glass plate,

  • you place an electrical conductor on one side of the pouch.

  • To create something that looks more like a muscle fiber,

  • you can connect a few pouches together

  • and attached a weight on one side.

  • Next, we apply voltage.

  • Now, the electric field starts acting on the liquid.

  • It displaces the liquid,

  • and it forces the muscle to contract.

  • Here you see a completed Peano-HASEL actuator

  • and how it expands and contracts when voltage is applied.

  • Viewed from the side,

  • you can really see those pouches take a more cylindrical shape,

  • such as we saw with the Ziploc bags.

  • We can also place a few such muscle fibers next to each other

  • to create something that looks even more like a muscle

  • that also contracts and expands in cross section.

  • These HASELs here are lifting a weight that's about 200 times heavier

  • than their own weight.

  • Here you see one of our newest designs, called quadrant donut HASELs

  • and how they expand and contract.

  • They can be operated incredibly fast, reaching superhuman speeds.

  • They are even powerful enough to jump off the ground.

  • (Laughter)

  • Overall, HASELs show promise to become the first technology

  • that matches or exceeds the performance of biological muscle

  • while being compatible with large-scale manufacturing.

  • This is also a very young technology. We are just getting started.

  • We have many ideas how to drastically improve performance,

  • using new materials and new designs to reach a level of performance

  • beyond biological muscle and also beyond traditional rigid electric motors.

  • Moving towards more complex designs of HASEL for bio-inspired robotics,

  • here you see our artificial scorpion

  • that can use its tail to hunt prey,

  • in this case, a rubber balloon.

  • (Laughter)

  • Going back to our initial inspiration,

  • the versatility of octopus arms and elephant trunks,

  • we are now able to build soft continuum actuators

  • that come closer and closer to the capabilities of the real thing.

  • I am most excited about the practical applications

  • of HASEL artificial muscles.

  • They'll enable soft robotic devices

  • that can improve the quality of life.

  • Soft robotics will enable a new generation of more lifelike prosthetics

  • for people who have lost parts of their bodies.

  • Here you see some HASELs in my lab,

  • early testing, driving a prosthetic finger.

  • One day, we may even merge our bodies with robotic parts.

  • I know that sounds very scary at first.

  • But when I think about my grandparents

  • and the way they become more dependent on others

  • to perform simple everyday tasks such as using the restroom alone,

  • they often feel like they're becoming a burden.

  • With soft robotics, we will be able to enhance and restore

  • agility and dexterity,

  • and thereby help older people maintain autonomy

  • for longer parts of their lives.

  • Maybe we can call that \"robotics for antiaging\"

  • or even a next stage of human evolution.

  • Unlike their traditional rigid counterparts,

  • soft life-like robots will safely operate near people and help us at home.

  • Soft robotics is a very young field. We're just getting started.

  • I hope that many young people from many different backgrounds

  • join us on this exciting journey

  • and help shape the future of robotics

  • by introducing new concepts inspired by nature.

  • If we do this right,

  • we can improve the quality of life

  • for all of us.

  • Thank you.

  • (Applause)

In 2015, 25 teams from around the world

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TED】クリストフ・ケプリンガー。未来のロボットを動かす人工筋肉 (未来のロボットを動かす人工筋肉|クリストフ・ケプリンガー) (【TED】Christoph Keplinger: The artificial muscles that will power robots of the future (The artificial muscles that will power robots of the future | Christoph Keplinger))

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    林宜悉 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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