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SOFT MACHINERY


In order to realize the Post Mass Production Paradigm artifacts should evolve to a benignly soft coexistence with mankind, society and environment. Soft Machines research proposes to explore how these future mechanical systems should exist. It also includes product development strategies in the life-cycle industry. As a concrete technology, we have already developed self-maintenance machines, which can autonomously diagnose and repair faults. Self-maintenance machines are advanced mechatronics machines whose backbone is a model-based fault diagnosis and repair-plan technology based on qualitative reasoning.Two types of repair strategies were developed in the self-maintenance machine, namely control type and functional redundancy type. Regarding the control type, a self-maintenance photocopier has already been developed and commercialized. Additionally, while progressing in the development and application of self-maintenance technology, we are also researching on the development of cellular machines. A cellular machine is a mechanical system composed of distributed autonomous intelligent units, called cells, able to generate emergent functions. As a concrete example, a cellular automatic warehouse that presented features such as self-organization, self-maintenance capability, and reconfigurability was first developed. Then, through several upgrades in the original system, we have developed a cellular assembling system, a cellular manufacturing system, and then a cellular re-manufacturing system. Moreover, by using the concept of cellular machines, a design tool based on the self-organization of the manufacturing system is being developed.

self-maintenance photocopiers

cellular machine

movable cellular machine

The processing cell from the left, a movable cell, an exit cell, an entrance cell

  • A demonstration of the movable cellular manufacturing system (Simulation Version)(MPG/3.6MB
  • A demonstration of the movable cellular manufacturing system (Hardware Version)(MPG/10.9MB)自走式細胞型機械のデモ動画3(MPG/11.3MB


LAST UPDATED: 2005/06/17 (C) 2005 SHIMOMURA LABORATORY