Carnegie Mellon University has been working on its CHIMP robot that will participate in the DARPA Robotic Challenge for a long time. The first time we talked about the robot was in March of this year when CHIMP was first announced. The university has announced that CHIMP will be taking part in the DARPA Robotics Challenge Trials on December 20-24.
The university team is called the Tartan Rescue Team and it is one of 17 teams that are competing in the DARPA Trials to be held at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. The DARPA Robotics Challenge has a goal of spurring the creation of robots that can help humans in the event of a disaster. DARPA will choose teams based on their performance at the trials to receive funding to prepare them for the finals next December.
The CHIMP robot that the university team designed is the size of a human when standing. The bot is 5' 2" tall when standing and weighs 400 pounds. The robot isn't designed to walk on legs like a human. Rather it moves on tank treads on all fours making it look like a gorilla. The robot has very long front arms that span almost 10 feet.
The CHIMP robot has joints in four different sizes that were designed in the University National Robotics Engineering Center. The joints use frameless motors with torque-limiting clutches. The joints also have integrated brakes and gearing allowing precise control over motion and high power density. The most powerful joint in the robot can curl 300 pounds. Each arm has seven joints and the legs have six joints.