The Huggable - BCH Edition

This project is the latest version of the Huggable robot, and is part of a research contract between the Personal Robots Group and the Boston Children's Hospital. The goal was to create a new iteration of the Huggable that was suitable for "in the wild" research, one that would express fluid movement and allow doctors and nurses to take command of the robot to interact with their child patients. The BCH team wanted to test its abilities in different methods of therapy, in the hopes that the nonthreatening form of the Huggable will create a less stressful environment in the hospital.

The previous model of the Huggable that was created for my Master's thesis needed many modifications in order to be research-ready. Each joint's torque requirements were recalculated, and the proper gearmotor were selected to provide the type of realistic and fluid motion that our animators wanted to express. With keeping the exterior shape the same, the interior shell structures were reformed to incorporate the new motors and their mechanisms. Various mechanical changes were implemented, such as making the paws and the arms modular, using a clam shell design for opening the head, and creating openings that gave access to components inside the robot. The majority of changes assisted in the rapid repair and troubleshooting of the Huggable and its components.

The Huggable was recently featured on the NYTimes and Wired.

Huggable BCH Solidworks Model