Building M, Basement, Room -104
This scientific research focuses on the design, modelling and control of multi-segment continuum soft robotic manipulators where the entire structure of the robotic arm is soft. These comprise serially connected tubular-shape deformable structures built with soft materials which have intrinsic compliant characteristics. The distributed compliance of continuum soft manipulators (i.e. the entire structure of the robotic arm is soft) in combination with the soft material (silicon, rubber, etc.) generates little resistance to compressive forces and produces small impacts during contact with humans, which makes them ideal for applications where physical human-robot interaction is very intense, such as personal service robots or surgical robotics (flexible endoscopes, etc.). A great challenge in modelling and control of these systems is that due to their deformable structure, the kinematics and dynamics are coupled and typical approaches for modelling equations of motion for control purposes cannot be applied directly. Our contribution is the research and development of dynamic models which enable accurate real-time control of the soft manipulator’s motion and physical interaction. To this end, we investigate modeling assumptions which simplify the complicated equations of motion, derived by the theory of elasticity, they capture the important mechanics of soft manipulators, and can be inverted so that they can be used for the control of the soft arm. Another interesting research topic, which we research, is the design of the actuation system for soft robotic manipulators. To this end, we are investigating modelling and control of the synergy of tendon and pneumatic actuators through antagonistic interaction.
For complete publications list see here
• Chairopoulos, N., Vartholomeos, P., and Papadopoulos, E., “Modeling, Simulation and Experimental Validation of Tendon-driven Soft-arm Robot Configuration – A Continuum Mechanics Approach,” Proc. IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS ’19), Macau, China, Nov. 4-8, 2019.