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Mobile Manipulator
The main chassis of the robot is based on the uBot5 mobile manipulator developed by the Laboratory for Perceptual Robotics UMASS Amherst (directed by Rod Grupen). The mobile base is a dynamically balancing platform (akin to a miniature robotic Segway base). It is capable of traversing indoor environments at human walking speed.

The two 4-degree of freedom arms are based on a series elastic DOMO/WAM style arm design with force sensing to support position and/or force control. These arms are designed to be able to pick up a 10 pound object fully extended when used together. The arm length permits a large bimanual workspace on the ground plane. The arms are sufficiently capable to support interesting research in mobile dexterity and group manipulation tasks such as having several MDS robots carry a large object together.
The shoulder chassis sits above a torso "twist" degree of freedom.

The robots can run on either tethered power or using on-board Li-Ion batteries. An on-board DSP and FPGA support low level motor control, and an embedded PC running Linux OS with wireless communication is used for dynamic balancing of the base and force control of the arms. A small indoor laser range finder supports navigation and obstacle avoidance. Capacitive sensing in the white cosmetic shells are used to sense human contact. Other wireless embedded PCs support the robot's sensory systems (visual, auditory, range, and tactile).

The integrated MDS platform shall run UMASS Amherst's software for dynamic balancing and series elastic arm control. Higher-level or more intensive processing is performed by a network of off-board computers.