Two examples of soft robotic platforms with highly non-linear sensors and actuators

Toward smart composites: small-scale, untethered prediction and control for soft sensor/actuator systems

May 2, 2022

We present a suite of algorithms and tools for model-predictive control of sensor/actuator systems with embedded microcontroller units (MCU). These MCUs can be colocated with sensors and actuators, thereby enabling a new class of smart composites capable of autonomous behavior that does not require an external computer. In this approach,...

Cover of the book "Active Materials"

Interview with Nikolaus Correll: Robotic Materials

Dec. 20, 2021

NC: I see myself as a proponent of computation in the field of smart materials. But the word ‘smart’ is overloaded; there is also a lot of discussion about active materials. I created the term ‘robotic materials’ because I come from robotics and my research is on materials for robots...

Self-sensing HASELs using capacitive sensing demonstrator

Miniaturized circuitry for capacitive self-sensing and closed-loop control of soft electrostatic transducers

Dec. 1, 2021

Soft robotics is a field of robotic system design characterized by materials and structures that exhibit large-scale deformation, high compliance, and rich multifunctionality. The incorporation of soft and deformable structures endows soft robotic systems with the compliance and resiliency that makes them well-adapted for unstructured and dynamic environments. While actuation...

SmartHand on a UR5 robot solving the Siemens assembly challenge

Systems, devices, components, and methods for a compact robotic gripper with palm-mounted sensing, grasping, and computing devices and components

Oct. 19, 2021

Disclosed are various embodiments of a three-dimensional perception and object manipulation robot gripper configured for connection to and operation in conjunction with a robot arm. In some embodiments, the gripper comprises a palm, a plurality of motors or actuators operably connected to the palm, a mechanical manipulation system operably connected...

Multi-Modal Fingertip Sensor With Proximity, Contact, And Force Localization Capabilities

Multi-Modal Fingertip Sensor With Proximity, Contact, And Force Localization Capabilities

Sept. 23, 2021

The lack of sensory feedback provided by prosthetic hands dramatically limits the utility of the device. Peripheral nerve interfaces are now able to produce stable somatosensory percepts for upper limb amputees. Sensors must be able to detect forces across the fingers of the prosthesis in a repeatable and reliable fashion...

Mobile Manipulation Hackathon: Moving into Real World Applications

Mobile Manipulation Hackathon: Moving into Real World Applications

March 17, 2021

The Mobile Manipulation Hackathon was held in late 2018 during the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) to showcase the latest applications of wheeled robotic manipulators. The challenge had an open format, where teams developed an application using simulation tools and integrated it into a robotic platform...

Robotic feature in the SIRONA cut-away view. Aesthetics and space for recreation and communal living are core to the design concept.

SIRONA: Sustainable Integration of Regenerative Outer-space Nature and Agriculture. Part 2 — Design Development and Projected Performance

July 4, 2020

A comprehensive Bioregenerative Life Support System (BLiSS) for human Long-duration Space Exploration Missions (LDSEMs) requires an innovative design philosophy and novel technical solutions. SIRONA: Sustainable Integration of Regenerative Outer-space Nature and Agriculture is a greenhouse design that produces a wide variety of food sources and provides life support functions, including...

Identification and Control of a Nonlinear Soft  Actuator and Sensor System

Identification and Control of a Nonlinear Soft Actuator and Sensor System

March 19, 2020

Soft robots are becoming increasingly prevalent, with unique applications to medical devices and wearable technology. Understanding the dynamics of nonlinear soft actuators is crucial to creating controllable soft robots. this letter presents a system identification process and closed-loop control of foldable HASEL (hydraulically amplified self-healing electrostatic) soft actuators. We characterized...

Robot performing peg-in-hole insertion of a tight bearing

Autonomous industrial assembly using force, torque, and RGB-D sensing

Feb. 1, 2020

We present algorithms and results for a robotic manipulation system that was designed to be easily programable and adaptable to various tasks common to industrial setting, which is inspired by the Industrial Assembly Challenge at the 2018 World Robotics Summit in Tokyo. This challenge included assembly of standard, commercially available...

3D assembly challenge from the World Robot Summit

Robots assembling machines: learning from the World Robot Summit 2018 Assembly Challenge

Dec. 26, 2019

The Industrial Assembly Challenge at the World Robot Summit was held in 2018 to showcase the state-of-the-art of autonomous manufacturing systems. The challenge included various tasks, such as bin picking, kitting, and assembly of standard industrial parts into 2D and 3D assemblies. Some of the tasks were only revealed at...