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Primate Anatomy, Kinematics, and Principles for Humanoid DesignThe primate order of animals is investigated for clues in the design of Humanoid Robots. The pursuit is directed with a theory that kinematics, musculature, perception, and cognition can be optimized for specific tasks by varying the proportions of limbs, and in particular, the points of branching in kinematic trees such as the primate skeleton. Called the Bifurcated Chain Hypothesis, the theory is that the branching proportions found in humans may be superior to other animals and primates for the tasks of dexterous manipulation and other human specialties. The primate taxa are defined, contemporary primate evolution hypotheses are critiqued, and variations within the order are noted. The kinematic branching points of the torso, limbs and fingers are studied for differences in proportions across the order, and associated with family and genus capabilities and behaviors. The human configuration of a long waist, long neck, and short arms is graded using a kinematic workspace analysis and a set of design axioms for mobile manipulation robots. It scores well. The re emergence of the human waist, seen in early Prosimians and Monkeys for arboreal balance, but lost in the terrestrial Pongidae, is postulated as benefiting human dexterity. The human combination of an articulated waist and neck will be shown to enable the use of smaller arms, achieving greater regions of workspace dexterity than the larger limbs of Gorillas and other Hominoidea.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Ambrose, Robert O.
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Ambrose, Catherine G.
(Texas Univ. Health Science Center Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2004
Publication Information
Publication: International Journal of Humanoid Robotics
Publisher: World Scientific Publishing Co.
Volume: 1
Issue: 1
Subject Category
Cybernetics, Artificial Intelligence And Robotics
Report/Patent Number
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