The Mechanical Design of a Humanoid Robot with Flexible Skin Sensor for use in Psychiatric Therapy
In this paper, a humanoid robot is presented for ultimate use in the rehabilitation of children with mental disorders, such as autism. Creating affordable and efficient humanoids could assist the therapy in psychiatric disability by offering multimodal communication between the humanoid and humans. Yet, the humanoid development needs a seamless integration of artificial muscles, sensors, controllers and structures. We have designed a human-like robot that has 15 DOF, 580 mm tall and 925 mm arm span using a rapid prototyping system. The robot has a human-like appearance and movement. Flexible sensors around the arm and hands for safe human-robot interactions, and a two-wheel mobile platform for maneuverability are incorporated in the design. The robot has facial features for illustrating human-friendly behavior. The mechanical design of the robot and the characterization of the flexible sensors are presented. Comprehensive study on the upper body design, mobile base, actuators selection, electronics, and performance evaluation are included in this paper.