'Crane of the future' from Tadano

By Euan Youdale10 June 2009

Tadano's Robotop

Tadano's Robotop

Tadano has developed a four-legged dual-lifting robotic crane that can walk while carrying a load.

The machine, currently named Robotops, took two years to design and another 12 months to develop. There are 29 joints across its body, enabling it to move in a number of ways traditional cranes cannot, the manufacturer explained. Its legs also act as stabilisers.

"It employs a movement control system developed through a joint research project with Okayama University, making the first-ever crane that is able to walk," said Tadano. "This concept machine truly embodies the possibilities offered by the cranes of the future. Although there are currently no plans to commercialise the design, we plan to apply and utilise the technologies of this robot in the development of our future products."

Robotop specifications:

Height: 2.1 m (when stored)

Width: 2.1 m (when stored)

Length: 3.84 m (when stored)

Weight: 2.7 tonnes

Number of joints: 29

Lifting capacity: 100 kg x 2 (clamp attachments)

Optical devices: 3 CCD cameras (1 on each hand, 1 in centre of body)

Operating system: Joystick-operated remote control

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