Yamazaki, Akira; Masuda, Ryosuke (Tokai University, Hiratsuka-shi Kanagawa, 259-1292, JAPAN)
Recently, due to a decreasing population and increasing care requirements of an aging population, demands for the development of daily life support robots have been increasing. As part of those efforts, we have developed a chopsticks equipped meal assistant robot designed for use by disabled or elderly persons who cannot consume food unassisted. In this paper, an autonomous control method for a chopstick-equipped meal assistance robot is introduced. Chopsticks have a variety of movements and are familiar to people in Japan and other Asian countries. Our newly designed chopstick autonomous force control method utilizes a database that contains information on various food characteristics, which allows them to be manipulated by various chopstick movements. In this paper, we report on the results of experiments conducted to confirm the utility of the autonomous control system of this meal assistance robot.