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Dynamic Control of Soft Robots Interacting with the Environment

TitleDynamic Control of Soft Robots Interacting with the Environment
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of PublicationIn Press
Conference NameIEEE International Conference on Soft Robotics
AuthorsC. Della Santina,, Katzschmann, RK, Bicchi, A, Rus, D
PublisherIEEE
Conference Location24 - 28 April 2018, Livorno, Italy
KeywordsRobotics
Abstract

Despite the emergence of many soft-bodied robotic

systems, model-based feedback control has remained an open

challenge. This is largely due to the intrinsic difficulties in

designing controllers for systems with infinite dimensions. In

this paper we propose an alternative formulation of the soft

robot dynamics which connects the robot’s behavior with the

one of a rigid bodied robot with elasticity in the joints. The

matching between the two system is exact under the common

hypothesis of Piecewise Constant Curvature. Based on this

connection we introduce two control architectures, with the

aim of achieving accurate curvature control and Cartesian

regulation of the robot’s impedance, respectively. The curvature

controller accounts for the natural softness of the system,

while the Cartesian controller adapts the impedance of the

end effector for interactions with an unstructured environment.

This work proposes the first closed loop dynamic controller

for a continuous soft robot. The controllers are validated

and evaluated on a physical soft robot capable of planar

manipulation.

Refereed DesignationRefereed

Towards Minimum-Information Adaptive Controllers for Robot Manipulators

TitleTowards Minimum-Information Adaptive Controllers for Robot Manipulators
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of PublicationIn Press
AuthorsMarcucci, T, C. Della Santina,, Gabiccini, M, Bicchi, A
Conference NameAmerican Control Conference, AMC2017
Conference LocationMay 24–26 2017, Seattle USA
KeywordsRobotics
Abstract

The aim of this paper is to move a step in the direction of determining the minimum amount of information needed to control a robot manipulator within the framework of adaptive control. Recent innovations in the state of the art show how global asymptotic trajectory tracking can be achieved despite the presence of uncertainties in the kinematic and dynamic models of the robot. However, a clear distinction between
which parameters can be included among the uncertainties, and which parameters can not, has not been drawn yet. Since most of the adaptive control algorithms are built on linearly parameterized models, we propose to reformulate the problem as finding a procedure to determine whether and how a given dynamical system can be linearly parameterized with respect to a specific set of parameters.
Within this framework, we show how the trajectory tracking problem of a manipulator can be accomplished with the only knowledge of the number of joints of the manipulator. As an illustrative example, we present the end-effector trajectory tracking control of a robot initialized with the kinematic model of a different robot.

Refereed DesignationRefereed

Polymeric microporous nanofilms as smart platforms for in vitro assessment of nanoparticle translocation and Caco-2 cell culture

TitlePolymeric microporous nanofilms as smart platforms for in vitro assessment of nanoparticle translocation and Caco-2 cell culture
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of PublicationIn Press
AuthorsRicotti, L, Gori, G, Cei, D, Costa, J, Signore, G, Ahluwalia, A
Journal IEEE Transactions on NanoBioscience
KeywordsBioengineering
Abstract

The study of nanomaterial translocation across epithelial barriers is often hindered by the low permeability of transwell membranes to nanoparticles. To address this issue ultra-thin poly(L-lactic acid) nanofilms with zero tortuosity micropores were developed for use in nanoparticle passage tests. In this study we demonstrate that microporous polymeric nanofilms allow a significantly higher passage of silver nanoparticles in comparison with commercial membranes normally used in Transwell inserts. A robust procedure for collecting free-standing nanofilms which enables their manipulation and use in lab-on-chip systems is described. We also demonstrate the cytocompatibility of porous nanofilms and their ability to sustain the adhesion and proliferation of Caco-2 cells. Ultra-thin microporous membranes show promise as low-cost nanomaterial screening tools and may be used as matrices for the development of bioengineered systems for mimicking the intestinal epithelium.

URLhttp://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7552480/
DOI10.1109/TNB.2016.2603191
Refereed DesignationRefereed

No More Heavy Lifting: Robotic Solutions to the Container Unloading Problem

TitleNo More Heavy Lifting: Robotic Solutions to the Container Unloading Problem
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of PublicationIn Press
AuthorsStoyanov, T, Vaskeviciusz, N, Mueller, CA, Fromm, T, Krug, R, Tincani, V, Mojtahedzadeh, R, Kunaschk, S, Ernits, RM, Canelhas, DR, Bonilla, M, Schwertfeger, S, Bonini, M, Halfar, H, Pathak, K, Rohde, M, Fantoni, G, Bicchi, A, Birk, A, Lilienthal, A, Echelmeyer, W
JournalIEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine
KeywordsRobotics
Refereed DesignationRefereed