Active Scope Camera


In disaster area, search and rescue workers face a dangerous and difficult task when they attempt to rescue survivors from collapsed houses and buildings. It is needed to utilize robots in the collapsed house investigations to decrease the risk to human life. A robot should move by itself in narrow gaps to investigate the interiors.

 For that purpose, we are developing the hose type robot which can move into collapsed houses to investigate the interiors with the Tokyo Univ., Kyoto Univ., Waseda Univ. etc. This work is supported by the "ImPACT program“Tough Robotics Challenge”.

Robot platform “Active Scope Camera”

A developed robot is a robot video scope (10 m), with a small sized camera at the tip of the hose to capture images. Installed pneumatic actuators allow the scope to bend the head to change the moving direction [1].

 The hose is covered by inclined cilia. Motors with eccentric mass is installed in the cable excite vibration and cause an up-and-down motion of the cable. The tips of the cilia stick on the floor when the cable moves down and propel the body. Meanwhile, the tips slip against the floor, and the body does not move back when it moves up. A repetition of this process showed that the cable can slowly move in a narrow space of rubble piles.

 The detailed information of active scope cameras and its cilia mechanism is presented in this page


[1] Fukuda Junichi, Masashi Konyo, Eijiro Takeuchi, Satoshi Tadokoro, “Remote Vertical Exploration by Active Scope Camera into Collapsed Buildings”, Proc. 2014 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, pp.1882-1888, 2014

Developing Hose type robot system

Not only the high “Mobility” but also the sensors, such as “Vision”, “Audition” and “Haptics” should be installed on the robot to investigate the interiors of collapsed houses effectively. We are integrating these elements into the robot with researchers from other universities. The elements “Mobility” and “Haptics” are mainly studied in this lab. 

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