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Chapter 64 — Rehabilitation and Health Care Robotics

H.F. Machiel Van der Loos, David J. Reinkensmeyer and Eugenio Guglielmelli

The field of rehabilitation robotics considers robotic systems that 1) provide therapy for persons seeking to recover their physical, social, communication, or cognitive function, and/or that 2) assist persons who have a chronic disability to accomplish activities of daily living. This chapter will discuss these two main domains and provide descriptions of the major achievements of the field over its short history and chart out the challenges to come. Specifically, after providing background information on demographics (Sect. 64.1.2) and history (Sect. 64.1.3) of the field, Sect. 64.2 describes physical therapy and exercise training robots, and Sect. 64.3 describes robotic aids for people with disabilities. Section 64.4 then presents recent advances in smart prostheses and orthoses that are related to rehabilitation robotics. Finally, Sect. 64.5 provides an overview of recent work in diagnosis and monitoring for rehabilitation as well as other health-care issues. The reader is referred to Chap. 73 for cognitive rehabilitation robotics and to Chap. 65 for robotic smart home technologies, which are often considered assistive technologies for persons with disabilities. At the conclusion of the present chapter, the reader will be familiar with the history of rehabilitation robotics and its primary accomplishments, and will understand the challenges the field may face in the future as it seeks to improve health care and the well being of persons with disabilities.


Author  Rex Bionics

Video ID : 511

REX, produced by REX Bionics, is an anthropomorphic lower-body robot designed to help users to stand from sitting, to ascend stair, to walk over ground, without the use of crutches.

Chapter 23 — Biomimetic Robots

Kyu-Jin Cho and Robert Wood

Biomimetic robot designs attempt to translate biological principles into engineered systems, replacing more classical engineering solutions in order to achieve a function observed in the natural system. This chapter will focus on mechanism design for bio-inspired robots that replicate key principles from nature with novel engineering solutions. The challenges of biomimetic design include developing a deep understanding of the relevant natural system and translating this understanding into engineering design rules. This often entails the development of novel fabrication and actuation to realize the biomimetic design.

This chapter consists of four sections. In Sect. 23.1, we will define what biomimetic design entails, and contrast biomimetic robots with bio-inspired robots. In Sect. 23.2, we will discuss the fundamental components for developing a biomimetic robot. In Sect. 23.3, we will review detailed biomimetic designs that have been developed for canonical robot locomotion behaviors including flapping-wing flight, jumping, crawling, wall climbing, and swimming. In Sect. 23.4, we will discuss the enabling technologies for these biomimetic designs including material and fabrication.

Stanford Sprawl and iSprawl

Author  Sangbae Kim, Jonathan E. Clark, Mark R. Cutkosky

Video ID : 403

The "Sprawl" family of hand-sized hexapedal robots is composed of prototypes designed to test ideas about locomotion dynamics, leg design and leg arrangement and to identify areas that can be improved by shape deposition manufacturing.

Chapter 80 — Roboethics: Social and Ethical Implications

Gianmarco Veruggio, Fiorella Operto and George Bekey

This chapter outlines the main developments of roboethics 9 years after a worldwide debate on the subject – that is, the applied ethics about ethical, legal, and societal aspects of robotics – opened up. Today, roboethics not only counts several thousands of voices on the Web, but is the issue of important literature relating to almost all robotics applications, and of hundreds of rich projects, workshops, and conferences. This increasing interest and sometimes even fierce debate expresses the perception and need of scientists, manufacturers, and users of professional guidelines and ethical indications about robotics in society.

Some of the issues presented in the chapter are well known to engineers, and less known or unknown to scholars of humanities, and vice versa. However, because the subject is transversal to many disciplines, complex, articulated, and often misrepresented, some of the fundamental concepts relating to ethics in science and technology are recalled and clarified.

A detailed taxonomy of sensitive areas is presented. It is based on a study of several years and referred to by scientists and scholars, the result of which is the Euron Roboethics Roadmap. This taxonomy identifies themost evident/urgent/sensitive ethical problems in the main applicative fields of robotics, leaving more in-depth research to further studies.

Roboethics: Military robotics

Author  Fiorella Operto

Video ID : 775

Ethical, legal and societal issues in military robotics. The so-called field of military robotics comprises all the devices resulting from the development of the traditional systems by robotics technology: Integrated defense systems; and A.I. systems for intelligence and surveillance controlling weapons and aircraft capabilities. Unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs), or autonomous tanks: Armored vehicles carrying weapons and/or tactical payloads, intelligent bombs and missiles. UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles): also referred to as autonomous flying vehicles (AFVs) or drones, unmanned spy planes and remotely piloted bombers. ASV (autonomous surface vessels) and patrol boats. AUVs (autonomous underwater vehicles): Intelligent torpedoes and autonomous submarines. In this field, the main problems could arise from: inadequate management of the unstructured complexity of a hostile scenario; the unpredictability of machine behavior; the increased risk of starting a video-game-like war, due to the decreased perception of its deadly effects; unpredictable side-effects on civilian populations; human-in-control hierarchy and robot’s transparency; psychological issues of humans in robotized environments (mixed teams); accountability and responsibility gap; the assignment of liability for misbehaviors or crimes. Collateral damages: Despite the increasing success of this technology, military hierarchies feel concerned about the potential dangers. Drones can accidentally fall and possibly damage humans and objects. Daily news report about unintended injury or death of innocent non-combatants (usually known as “collateral damage”) from war theaters. Potential friendly-fire casualties in crowded battlefield or due to enemy’s tracking/hijacking.

Chapter 70 — Human-Robot Augmentation

Massimo Bergamasco and Hugh Herr

The development of robotic systems capable of sharing with humans the load of heavy tasks has been one of the primary objectives in robotics research. At present, in order to fulfil such an objective, a strong interest in the robotics community is collected by the so-called wearable robots, a class of robotics systems that are worn and directly controlled by the human operator. Wearable robots, together with powered orthoses that exploit robotic components and control strategies, can represent an immediate resource also for allowing humans to restore manipulation and/or walking functionalities.

The present chapter deals with wearable robotics systems capable of providing different levels of functional and/or operational augmentation to the human beings for specific functions or tasks. Prostheses, powered orthoses, and exoskeletons are described for upper limb, lower limb, and whole body structures. State-of-theart devices together with their functionalities and main components are presented for each class of wearable system. Critical design issues and open research aspects are reported.

Collaborative control of the Body Extender

Author  Massimo Bergamasco

Video ID : 151

The video shows the numerical and experimental validation of the collaborative control applied to the Body Extender. The control prevents the overturning of the system under the action of gravity by minimally distorting the operator's intended motion.

Chapter 18 — Parallel Mechanisms

Jean-Pierre Merlet, Clément Gosselin and Tian Huang

This chapter presents an introduction to the kinematics and dynamics of parallel mechanisms, also referred to as parallel robots. As opposed to classical serial manipulators, the kinematic architecture of parallel robots includes closed-loop kinematic chains. As a consequence, their analysis differs considerably from that of their serial counterparts. This chapter aims at presenting the fundamental formulations and techniques used in their analysis.


Author  Marc Gouttefarde

Video ID : 45

This video demonstrates a 6-DOF fully constrained 8-cable-driven robot acting in a large workspace on palletizing applications (CoGiRo robot). Reference: J. Lamaury, M. Gouttefarde: Control of a large redundantly actuated cable-suspended parallel robot, Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. Robot. Autom. (ICRA), Karlsruhe (2013), pp. 4659-4664

Chapter 19 — Robot Hands

Claudio Melchiorri and Makoto Kaneko

Multifingered robot hands have a potential capability for achieving dexterous manipulation of objects by using rolling and sliding motions. This chapter addresses design, actuation, sensing and control of multifingered robot hands. From the design viewpoint, they have a strong constraint in actuator implementation due to the space limitation in each joint. After briefly introducing the overview of anthropomorphic end-effector and its dexterity in Sect. 19.1, various approaches for actuation are provided with their advantages and disadvantages in Sect. 19.2. The key classification is (1) remote actuation or build-in actuation and (2) the relationship between the number of joints and the number of actuator. In Sect. 19.3, actuators and sensors used for multifingered hands are described. In Sect. 19.4, modeling and control are introduced by considering both dynamic effects and friction. Applications and trends are given in Sect. 19.5. Finally, this chapter is closed with conclusions and further reading.

The Barrett Hand

Author  Barrett Technology Inc.

Video ID : 752

The Barrett Hand is one of the first effective commercial robot grippers. Although it is not an anthropomorphic hand, its kinematics and actuation system enable a great diversity of grasps.

Chapter 62 — Intelligent Vehicles

Alberto Broggi, Alex Zelinsky, Ümit Özgüner and Christian Laugier

This chapter describes the emerging robotics application field of intelligent vehicles – motor vehicles that have autonomous functions and capabilities. The chapter is organized as follows. Section 62.1 provides a motivation for why the development of intelligent vehicles is important, a brief history of the field, and the potential benefits of the technology. Section 62.2 describes the technologies that enable intelligent vehicles to sense vehicle, environment, and driver state, work with digital maps and satellite navigation, and communicate with intelligent transportation infrastructure. Section 62.3 describes the challenges and solutions associated with road scene understanding – a key capability for all intelligent vehicles. Section 62.4 describes advanced driver assistance systems, which use the robotics and sensing technologies described earlier to create new safety and convenience systems for motor vehicles, such as collision avoidance, lane keeping, and parking assistance. Section 62.5 describes driver monitoring technologies that are being developed to mitigate driver fatigue, inattention, and impairment. Section 62.6 describes fully autonomous intelligent vehicles systems that have been developed and deployed. The chapter is concluded in Sect. 62.7 with a discussion of future prospects, while Sect. 62.8 provides references to further reading and additional resources.

Inria/Ligier automated parallel-parking demo in an open parking area

Author  Christian Laugier, Igor Paromtchik

Video ID : 567

This video shows a pioneer demonstration of the concept of "autonomous parallel parking" on the early Inria/Ligier autonomous vehicle (1996). The approach does not require any prior model of the parking area. The car is controlled using information coming from inexpensive, on-board sensors, and motion control decisions (including parking maneuvers) are taken online according to the state of the sensed environment. Public demonstrations of the systems have been performed during several publicized and scientific events (including during three days at the IEEE/RSJ IROS 1997 Conference). More technical details can be found in [62.89].

Chapter 58 — Robotics in Hazardous Applications

James Trevelyan, William R. Hamel and Sung-Chul Kang

Robotics researchers have worked hard to realize a long-awaited vision: machines that can eliminate the need for people to work in hazardous environments. Chapter 60 is framed by the vision of disaster response: search and rescue robots carrying people from burning buildings or tunneling through collapsed rock falls to reach trapped miners. In this chapter we review tangible progress towards robots that perform routine work in places too dangerous for humans. Researchers still have many challenges ahead of them but there has been remarkable progress in some areas. Hazardous environments present special challenges for the accomplishment of desired tasks depending on the nature and magnitude of the hazards. Hazards may be present in the form of radiation, toxic contamination, falling objects or potential explosions. Technology that specialized engineering companies can develop and sell without active help from researchers marks the frontier of commercial feasibility. Just inside this border lie teleoperated robots for explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) and for underwater engineering work. Even with the typical tenfold disadvantage in manipulation performance imposed by the limits of today’s telepresence and teleoperation technology, in terms of human dexterity and speed, robots often can offer a more cost-effective solution. However, most routine applications in hazardous environments still lie far beyond the feasibility frontier. Fire fighting, remediating nuclear contamination, reactor decommissioning, tunneling, underwater engineering, underground mining and clearance of landmines and unexploded ordnance still present many unsolved problems.

HD footage of 1950s atomic power plants - Nuclear reactors

Author  James P. Trevelyan

Video ID : 586

Robot manipulators, mainly remotely controlled and operated by people, have been widely used in the nuclear industry since the 1950s. This video contains archival film footage showing operations using remote manipulators.

Chapter 20 — Snake-Like and Continuum Robots

Ian D. Walker, Howie Choset and Gregory S. Chirikjian

This chapter provides an overview of the state of the art of snake-like (backbones comprised of many small links) and continuum (continuous backbone) robots. The history of each of these classes of robot is reviewed, focusing on key hardware developments. A review of the existing theory and algorithms for kinematics for both types of robot is presented, followed by a summary ofmodeling of locomotion for snake-like and continuum mechanisms.

Aiko sidewinding

Author  Pål Liljebäck

Video ID : 254

Video of Aiko, a robot developed at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)/SINTEF Advanced Robotics Laboratory. In this video, the robot performs a sidewinding gait.

Chapter 15 — Robot Learning

Jan Peters, Daniel D. Lee, Jens Kober, Duy Nguyen-Tuong, J. Andrew Bagnell and Stefan Schaal

Machine learning offers to robotics a framework and set of tools for the design of sophisticated and hard-to-engineer behaviors; conversely, the challenges of robotic problems provide both inspiration, impact, and validation for developments in robot learning. The relationship between disciplines has sufficient promise to be likened to that between physics and mathematics. In this chapter, we attempt to strengthen the links between the two research communities by providing a survey of work in robot learning for learning control and behavior generation in robots. We highlight both key challenges in robot learning as well as notable successes. We discuss how contributions tamed the complexity of the domain and study the role of algorithms, representations, and prior knowledge in achieving these successes. As a result, a particular focus of our chapter lies on model learning for control and robot reinforcement learning. We demonstrate how machine learning approaches may be profitably applied, and we note throughout open questions and the tremendous potential for future research.

Machine learning table tennis

Author  Jan Peters, Katharina Mülling, Jens Kober, Oliver Kroemer, Zhikun Wang

Video ID : 354

The video shows recent successful demonstrations of using machine learning for robot table tennis. The first part shows learning of motor primitives for forehand strikes by training a robot with a mixture of imitation and reinforcement learning. The second part shows how the robot can anticipate an opponent's intended targets based on both forehand and backhand primitives. The video illustrates Sect. 15.3.5 Policy Search of the Springer Handbook of Robotics, 2nd edn (2016). Reference: K. Mülling, J. Kober, O. Kroemer, J. Peters: Learning to select and generalize striking movements in robot table tennis, Int. J. Robot. Res. 32(3), 263-279 (2013)