News Release

Service Robot SmartPal V

TechnologyNov 28, 2007

YASKAWA develops a service robot “SmartPal V (SmartPal Five)”
– Additional waist area unit expands the allowable operating range –

YASKAWA Electric Corporation (President: Koji Toshima) has developed a service robot (work support robot for non-manufacturing industry) “SmartPal V (SmartPal Five)” based on our next-generation robot SmartPal developed so far, improving its functions.
1. Purpose of the development
  While serious labor shortage due to the aging population combined with a declining birthrate is concerned recently, the improvement in living quality, such as “comfort,” “convenience,” and “safety,” is needed. YASKAWA hopes to help improve the living quality by promoting the development of service robots intended for non-manufacturing industry and reducing the work load and operational costs using these robots.
Based on these standpoints, we have developed a next-generation robot SmartPal assuming the application in service field and been improving its functions. We have developed a service robot (work support robot for non-manufacturing industry) “SmartPal V (SmartPal Five)” with an expanded allowable operating range by improving the functions and adding a waist area unit.
  “Appearance of SmartPal V


2. SmartPal V main features
  Following points have been improved in SmartPal V in comparison with the previous SmartPal series.
  Additional waist area unit
  SmartPal is unitized by each function, such as arm, hand, and moving part, a structure which allows easy additions and changes. This is to respond to various needs in non-manufacturing industry flexibly by combining units appropriate for each application.

A new waist area unit has been added to SmartPal V whereby the waist can be bent. This has expanded the allowable operating range greatly, such as grabbing an object placed on the floor.

  Thinner body
  Service robots which coexist with humans need to have a thin body so that people around them will not be intimidated by them. SmartPal V has a thinner body by a further size reduction of the built-in actuator and servo amplifier. The volume of the body is half of the conventional SmartPal series.


3.Major functions
1 Arms
  Two arms to grab and carry objects. With seven joints, having one additional arm compared to general industrial robots, flexible operations similar to human arms are produced.
2 Hands
  Mounted at the tip of the arms to grab an object directly. A one-joint gripper or a multi-fingered hand consisting of three fingers and nine joints can be mounted.
3 Moving part
  A wheel mechanism which can move inside the building freely. With a three-axis wheel, free movement in all directions including not only front-back and turning but also sideways and diagonal is possible.
4 Waist area
  A joint mechanism which is added newly to enable the bending of the waist area. By bending the waist area using the two joints, the operating range has been expanded widely such as grabbing an object placed on the floor.
5 Communication with users
  A function to exchange information with humans easily. It can recognize voice by microphone input and have simple conversations with users through speech synthesis by speaker output.
6 Environment recognition function
  A function to recognize the surrounding conditions and objects. By matching images of the CCD camera which is built into the body to the predetermined images, it can detect where the object it is going to grab is placed.
In addition, the distance sensor can recognize positional relation with the surrounding objects.
7 Communication function
  A function to exchange information with another distant robot, peripheral units of elevators, and others. Two or more SmartPals can operate in cooperation with each other by using a radio communication network.
  Description of each part of SmartPal V
  “Example of the operation to grab an object placed on the floor”


4.SmartPal V main specifications
Items Specifications
Overall height 1325 mm
Overall width Body 212 mm
Moving part 555 mm
Overall length
Body 185 mm
Moving part 613 mm
Weight 127 kg (including the battery of 23 kg)
Degree of freedom (Number of axes) 21 degrees of freedom in total (arm: 7 ‘ 2, hand: 1 ‘ 2, waist: 2, movement: 3) *1
Arm Upper arm f105 ‘ 250 mm
Lower arm f105 ‘ 280 mm
Payload 2 kg *2
Waist area Bending angle Front: 125° to Rear: 30°
Moving speed Max.: 3.6 km/h
Sensor Distance sensor ‘ 3, Contact sensor ‘ 4
Communication with users Voice recognition, speech synthesis, head LED
Environment recognition function CCD camera ‘ 4
Communication function Wireless LAN (IEEE802.11g)
Operating time 2.5 consecutive hours
  *1 37 degrees of freedom (hand 9 ‘ 2) in total when a multi-fingered hand unit is attached
*2 Payload in normal operating area (front of the body)


5.Assumed main applications
  Information at commerce facilities, air ports, etc.
  Services work inside the office (luggage transportation and patrol)
  Home care support (e.g. delivery of objects by hand), and other work supports


6.Further development
  We will enhance SmartPal’s functions further and develop new series of service robots intended for the applications such as information and transportation by combining the units we developed.
As an example, we are also currently developing a guide robot “SmartGuide” which has a built-in LCD projector and can make a presentation while moving. This robot is developed by applying the moving part unit and the waist area unit of SmartPal V.
  Appearance and specifications of “SmartGuide” (reference)
Items Specifications
Overall height 775 mm
Overall width 500 mm
Overall length (depth) 590 mm
Weight 70 kg
Degree of freedom (Number of axes) 5 degrees of freedom in total (waist: 2, movement: 3)
Waist (neck) bending angle Pan: -135 to +135°, Tilt: -65 to +15°
Moving speed Max.: 3.6 km/h
Sensor Distance sensor ‘ 2, Contact sensor ‘ 4
Communication with users Speech synthesis, LCD projector
Communication function Wireless LAN (IEEE802.11g)
Operating time 4 consecutive hours
Information: SmartPal V” and “SmartGuide” will be exhibited and demonstrated at the YASKAWA Electric Corporation booth at the “2007 International Robot Exhibition” held at the Tokyo Big Sight from November 28 to December 1, 2007.


SmartPal is a registered trademark of YASKAWA Electric Corporation.


YASKAWA Electric Corporation
Technology & Development Division
New Mechatronics Business Promotion Dept.
Next-Generation Robot Team Leader
Kenji Matsukuma
Tel: +81-93-571-6112
Fax: +81-93-571-6044



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