NOBOROT Kamata Lab Is a Robot with Climbing Wheels
As Chiba Institute of Technology has earlier unveiled a prototype of what will be robotic wheelchair capable of climbing steps, University of Tokyo comes up with new robotic vehicle featuring the same functionality. Engineers at Kamata lab call this baby as NOBOROT. Don’t get it wrong. Once you see the real thing, you’ll realize that it’s much sleeker than its name.
The vehicle was initially spotted at JIMTOF 2012. At that time, it was not the Kamata lab’s engineers who proudly promote it. Rather, the NOBOROT was showcased on a certain both owned by JTEKT, a company owned by Toyota. Apparently, Kamata lab’s engineers didn’t work alone upon developing the vehicle as it turns out that NOBOROT incorporates numerous innovations patented by the said company.
Unlike Chiba robotic wheelchair, NOBOROT seems much more advanced in terms of performance. Though both machines are not more than just prototypes, NOBOROT is able to demonstrate smother steps-climbing moves. As it approaches the steps, its rear wheels start revolving forward and replacing the front wheels. This happen continuously until it manages to climb all the steps.
Furthermore, upon climbing the steps, NOBOROT can stay steady and upright. This all thanks to high-torque actuators which are combined with pendulum control model set upside-down. Depending on the market response, you might be able to see it being used in various services like social and industrial in the following five years. While Chiba’s technology was introduced the first, Kamata lab’s robotic vehicle has the advantages over it in terms of better technology implementation.