MONROE - Hyper-Modular Open Networked RObot systems with Excellent performance
Robots so far suffer from several up to now necessary trade-offs that result in:
- Stiff robots are heavy (in terms of moving mass), and thereby slow and/or too expensive.
- Parallel robots providing stiffness and high forces have small and closed workspace.
- Precise robots are very expensive, slow, and/or cannot stand process forces.
- Modular robots have low performance due to lack of mechatronic optimization.
The first two of these items were successfully tackled in SMErobot (FP6; smerobot.org) by means of the Tau PKM structure. As the basis for MONROE we have ideas that overcomes all of the four tradeoffs above, but convincing demonstrations are needed before (the first) customers are willing to buy the concept. For software and networking we want to combine loosely coupled networked devices, which should communicate via asynchronous messages that are both self-describing and possible to be compiled into real-time communication with multi-kHz control over standard Ethernet. An integrated demonstration is outside reach for robot manufacturers from a business point of view, and hence the crucial need for this Echord experiment.