Bridging Together Compliant and Continuum Robots
Research Background of the Project: Soft manipulators have recently gained significant recognition for their versatility and advantages over rigid-link systems. Their multi-DOF bending capabilities and their intrinsic compliance make them a viable technology for complex tasks where an enhanced degree of flexibility is required as well as locomotion tools for bioinspired robots. However, the complexity of these continuum actuators makes them hard to control and, consequently, less suited for everyday use in industrial, medical or other robotics applications. A more rigorous and well-established approach in control comes from the study of compliant or flexible systems, where thoroughly validated techniques have been used in the frame of robotics systems with discrete elastic components.
Project Description: Since the development of the first soft continuum manipulators a broad range of modelling tools have been developed Some of the most widespread of these tools are either FEM or geometry-based. However, given the complexity of the underlying kinematics and dynamics of these systems, the problem of accurate control remains unsolved. This project aims to reconcile the model based approach for modelling and control design as well as the model free approach using machine learning employed in the frame of flexible robots (e.g. Elastic Structure Preserving Control) with those being developed for continuum soft robots. The purpose of this work is to provide a more rigorous theoretical basis for the control of continuum soft manipulators.
Third supervisor is Dr Federico Renda, Khalifa University of Science and Technology, United Arab Emirates
1) F. Renda, F. Boyer, J. Dias and L. Seneviratne, "Discrete Cosserat Approach for Multisection Soft Manipulator Dynamics," in IEEE Transactions on Robotics, vol. 34, no. 6, pp. 1518-1533, Dec. 2018.
2) D. Lakatos, W. Friedl, A. Albu-Schäffer, 2017, Eigenmodes of nonlinear dynamics: Definition, existence, and embodiment into legged robots with elastic elements, IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters 2 (2), 1062-1069.
3) O Goury, C Duriez, 2018, Fast, Generic, and Reliable Control and Simulation of Soft Robots Using Model Order Reduction, IEEE Transactions on Robotics, 1-12.
4) M Keppler, D Lakatos, C Ott, A Albu-Schäffer, 2018, Elastic Structure Preserving (ESP) Control for Compliantly Actuated Robots, IEEE Transactions on Robotics 34 (2), 317-335.