Difference: Research (3 vs. 4)

Revision 413 Oct 2017 - jaeh2

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Research Overview

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 Currently our research focus is centered around "modeling of biological systems" (mathematical formulations of animals' adaptive behaviors), "self-organization" (mechanisms to generate structures and patterns), and "component development" (development of unconventional enabling technologies such as sensors, motors, computation algorithms and assembling technologies). By understanding the basic design principles of these technological components, we aim to deepen our understanding of self-organization processes of intelligent adaptive behaviors in animals and machines.




Ongoing Research Areas


Amazon Robotics Challenge: Cambridgearm Team

Picking and place into boxes from shelving remains one of the key challenges in a warehouse environment. As a driver for research, we are competing on the Amazon Robotics Challenge focusing on the development of robust vision systems, determing relevant gripping points and developing an adgile manipulator to allow manipulation of a number of items. More information can be found here.


Thermoplastic Adhesives in Robotic Locomotion and Manipulation

Thermoplastic Adhesives in Robotic Locomotion and Manipulation


Description: Robotic growth and morphological change will increase the adaptability of a robotic system facing unanticipated task-environments. The research area focuses on development of mechanisms for robotic growth and morphological change based on Thermoplastic Adhesives (TPAs), also known as ‘hot glue'. TPAs are economic, off-the-shelf, and they have several interesting properties. They can form flexible or rigid structures by means of existing fast-prototyping techniques and can be also used as an easy and strong connection mechanism, which are important technologies towards robotic growth and morphological change.
Researchers: Liyu Wang, Luzius Brodbeck, Derek Leach, Utku Culha, Fumiya Iida, Surya G. Nurzaman, Keith Gunura
I. Dragline-forming mobile robots: Bioinspiration and Biomimetics (in press), IROS 2013
II. Reconfigurable manipulation: IEEE/ASME-TMECH, BioRob 2012, ICRA 2012, IROS 2012
III. Vision-based active sensing: PLOS ONE
IV. Robotics education: ARSO 2013 (in press)
Media coverage: Daily Mail, NBC News, Popular Science, New Scientist, RSI Channel, IEEE Spectrum, ETH Globe Magazine
Videos: dragline_continuous.mp4, ETHassembly.mp4

Emergence of Reflexive Behavior: a Developmental Approach
legmodel3d.png Description: Developmental robotics is located at the intersection of developmental sciences and robotics. The main goal of this field of research is to investigate how a creature can develop increasingly complex behaviors autonomously. In this particular project we use self-organization principles to develop reflexive behavior in a simulated leg model. Using the same self-organization principles, we have obtained analogues of the myotatic, the reverse myotatic, the reciprocal inhibition, and the withdrawal reflexes, which have been identified in the mammal spinal chord.
Researchers: Hugo Gravato Marques
Publications: Current Biology, Biological Cybernetics
Videos: Reflex Learning and Jumping
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curve_beam_2012.jpg Description: During free vibration process, potential and kinetic energy are exchanged without energy loss. Based on this property, this project aims to design robots with energetically efficient locomotion. The elastic curved beam is demonstrated to perform well using free vibration in the experiment. Due to different design of structure, multiple locomotion gaits including hopping, walking and running, can be achieved. Furthermore, a number of models and simulation are used to investigate the dynamics of robot, which supplies the theory to explore optimal control methods.
Researchers: Xiaoxiang Yu, Fabian GŁnther, Surya Nurzaman
Publications: TMECH, ALife, TIE, ICRA 2013, IROS 2012, AIM 2012, AIM 2011, AMC 2012, AMAM 2013, Dynamic Walking 2012, ICMC 2011
Curved beam robots: Hopper, Walker, Runner
Multi-gaited study: simulation, experiment
Mini efficient robot: Hopper, Runner
Large payload efficient robot: 10kg payload hopper
Resonance Vibration, Passive Hopping, Hopper modeling, Curved foot hopper

Assistive Mechatronic Posture Support
Project_noonee.jpg Description: Using passive and low energy components the goal of this project is to develop a power efficient and comfortable posture support device which allows the user to stand for long periods of time as well as walking and climbing stair. The device absorbs the body weight of the user and redirects it away from the knee. This reduces the stress on the knees and muscles and therefore the risk of pain and injuries. The device is equipped with a high performance variable hydraulic damper. The damping can be varied from very low to very high damping and ultimately brake. The control of this damper allows different applications of the device in the industrial, rehabilitation and medical field.
Researchers: Bryan Anastasiades, Keith Gunura


Previous Projects


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