The SARCOS Support is a high-strength support harness I designed and built for the robotics group at Disney Research. The support was required for a series of intense experiments with the SARCOS Humanoid, an experimental hydraulic humanoid based at Carnegie Mellon University. The experiments involved the robot repeatedly falling off of an unstable platform, placing the robot at risk for damage from harsh shock loads.
The system had to minimize the large impact forces that arose when the 200 lb robot fell. My design dissipated energy to reduce the force of the fall. The system involves a series of pulleys, custom braces, and structural members to minimize the load and maximizing the lifespan of the support system.
The central components of the support system are two custom braces which support the weight of the robot. The braces mount under the central structure of the robot and are clamped to each other with high strength steel bolts. The braces are designed to distribute the load to these steel bolts.
Because the structure will be continuously supporting the robot during a variety of new experiments, I designed the system with a large factor of safety. To test my design, I ran numerous FEA simulations with the CAD models of the components of the system. I also ran simulations to explore the system's fatigue life and to ensure it survived years of experimentation.
The University of Southern California is planning to incorporate this support system in experiments involving their own SARCOS Humanoid, and have requested that I help them incorporate my design into their work.
For these experiments I also created a rotating cylinder.