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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 65 — Domestic Robotics

Erwin Prassler, Mario E. Munich, Paolo Pirjanian and Kazuhiro Kosuge

When the first edition of this book was published domestic robots were spoken of as a dream that was slowly becoming reality. At that time, in 2008, we looked back on more than twenty years of research and development in domestic robotics, especially in cleaning robotics. Although everybody expected cleaning to be the killer app for domestic robotics in the first half of these twenty years nothing big really happened. About ten years before the first edition of this book appeared, all of a sudden things started moving. Several small, but also some larger enterprises announced that they would soon launch domestic cleaning robots. The robotics community was anxiously awaiting these first cleaning robots and so were consumers. The big burst, however, was yet to come. The price tag of those cleaning robots was far beyond what people were willing to pay for a vacuum cleaner. It took another four years until, in 2002, a small and inexpensive device, which was not even called a cleaning robot, brought the first breakthrough: Roomba. Sales of the Roomba quickly passed the first million robots and increased rapidly. While for the first years after Roomba’s release, the big players remained on the sidelines, possibly to revise their own designs and, in particular their business models and price tags, some other small players followed quickly and came out with their own products. We reported about theses devices and their creators in the first edition. Since then the momentum in the field of domestics robotics has steadily increased. Nowadays most big appliance manufacturers have domestic cleaning robots in their portfolio. We are not only seeing more and more domestic cleaning robots and lawn mowers on the market, but we are also seeing new types of domestic robots, window cleaners, plant watering robots, tele-presence robots, domestic surveillance robots, and robotic sports devices. Some of these new types of domestic robots are still prototypes or concept studies. Others have already crossed the threshold to becoming commercial products.

For the second edition of this chapter, we have decided to not only enumerate the devices that have emerged and survived in the past five years, but also to take a look back at how it all began, contrasting this retrospection with the burst of progress in the past five years in domestic cleaning robotics. We will not describe and discuss in detail every single cleaning robot that has seen the light of the day, but select those that are representative for the evolution of the technology as well as the market. We will also reserve some space for new types of mobile domestic robots, which will be the success stories or failures for the next edition of this chapter. Further we will look into nonmobile domestic robots, also called smart appliances, and examine their fate. Last but not least, we will look at the recent developments in the area of intelligent homes that surround and, at times, also control the mobile domestic robots and smart appliances described in the preceding sections.

Winbot window-cleaning robot

Author  Erwin Prassler

Video ID : 736

Video features window--cleaning robot Winbot at CES 2015.

Chapter 52 — Modeling and Control of Aerial Robots

Robert Mahony, Randal W. Beard and Vijay Kumar

Aerial robotic vehicles are becoming a core field in mobile robotics. This chapter considers some of the fundamental modelling and control architectures in the most common aerial robotic platforms; small-scale rotor vehicles such as the quadrotor, hexacopter, or helicopter, and fixed wing vehicles. In order to control such vehicles one must begin with a good but sufficiently simple dynamic model. Based on such models, physically motivated control architectures can be developed. Such algorithms require realisable target trajectories along with real-time estimates of the system state obtained from on-board sensor suite. This chapter provides a first introduction across all these subjects for the quadrotor and fixed wing aerial robotic vehicles.

Autopilot using total-energy control

Author  Randy Beard

Video ID : 436

This video shows simulation results of an autopilot wich controls the lateral modes using a standard nested loop structure; the longitudinal autopilot is designed using the total-energy control structure. The commands to the autopilot are for airspeed, course angle, and altitude. The video shows a number of different step commands in these variables and the performance of a six-DOF aerodynamic model of a Zagi-style fixed-wing aircraft.

Chapter 36 — Motion for Manipulation Tasks

James Kuffner and Jing Xiao

This chapter serves as an introduction to Part D by giving an overview of motion generation and control strategies in the context of robotic manipulation tasks. Automatic control ranging from the abstract, high-level task specification down to fine-grained feedback at the task interface are considered. Some of the important issues include modeling of the interfaces between the robot and the environment at the different time scales of motion and incorporating sensing and feedback. Manipulation planning is introduced as an extension to the basic motion planning problem, which can be modeled as a hybrid system of continuous configuration spaces arising from the act of grasping and moving parts in the environment. The important example of assembly motion is discussed through the analysis of contact states and compliant motion control. Finally, methods aimed at integrating global planning with state feedback control are summarized.

Mesoscale manipulation: System, modeling, planning and control

Author  David J. Cappelleri et al.

Video ID : 359

This video shows an example of peg-in-hole manipulation on the mesoscale. Three robust motion primitives are introduced, i.e., one-point sticking contact with counterclockwise rotation, two-point contact motion without rotation, and robust rotation. These motion primitives are sequentially executed to accomplish the peg-in-hole manipulation task.

Chapter 55 — Space Robotics

Kazuya Yoshida, Brian Wilcox, Gerd Hirzinger and Roberto Lampariello

In the space community, any unmanned spacecraft can be called a robotic spacecraft. However, Space Robots are considered to be more capable devices that can facilitate manipulation, assembling, or servicing functions in orbit as assistants to astronauts, or to extend the areas and abilities of exploration on remote planets as surrogates for human explorers.

In this chapter, a concise digest of the historical overview and technical advances of two distinct types of space robotic systems, orbital robots and surface robots, is provided. In particular, Sect. 55.1 describes orbital robots, and Sect. 55.2 describes surface robots. In Sect. 55.3, the mathematical modeling of the dynamics and control using reference equations are discussed. Finally, advanced topics for future space exploration missions are addressed in Sect. 55.4.

DLR telepresence demo with time delay

Author  Jordi Artigas, Gerd Hirzinger

Video ID : 338

Video demonstration of the behavior of telepresence with force reflection up to 500 ms round-trip delay.

Chapter 43 — Telerobotics

Günter Niemeyer, Carsten Preusche, Stefano Stramigioli and Dongjun Lee

In this chapter we present an overview of the field of telerobotics with a focus on control aspects. To acknowledge some of the earliest contributions and motivations the field has provided to robotics in general, we begin with a brief historical perspective and discuss some of the challenging applications. Then, after introducing and classifying the various system architectures and control strategies, we emphasize bilateral control and force feedback. This particular area has seen intense research work in the pursuit of telepresence. We also examine some of the emerging efforts, extending telerobotic concepts to unconventional systems and applications. Finally,we suggest some further reading for a closer engagement with the field.

Semi-autonomous teleoperation of multiple UAVs: Passing a narrow gap

Author  Antonio Franchi, Paolo Robuffo Giordano

Video ID : 71

This video shows the bilateral teleoperation of a group of four quadrotors UAVs navigating in a cluttered environment. The human operator provides velocity-level motion commands and receives force-feedback information on the UAV interaction with the environment (e.g., presence of obstacles and external disturbances).

Chapter 39 — Cooperative Manipulation

Fabrizio Caccavale and Masaru Uchiyama

This chapter is devoted to cooperative manipulation of a common object by means of two or more robotic arms. The chapter opens with a historical overview of the research on cooperativemanipulation, ranging from early 1970s to very recent years. Kinematics and dynamics of robotic arms cooperatively manipulating a tightly grasped rigid object are presented in depth. As for the kinematics and statics, the chosen approach is based on the socalled symmetric formulation; fundamentals of dynamics and reduced-order models for closed kinematic chains are discussed as well. A few special topics, such as the definition of geometrically meaningful cooperative task space variables, the problem of load distribution, and the definition of manipulability ellipsoids, are included to give the reader a complete picture ofmodeling and evaluation methodologies for cooperative manipulators. Then, the chapter presents the main strategies for controlling both the motion of the cooperative system and the interaction forces between the manipulators and the grasped object; in detail, fundamentals of hybrid force/position control, proportional–derivative (PD)-type force/position control schemes, feedback linearization techniques, and impedance control approaches are given. In the last section further reading on advanced topics related to control of cooperative robots is suggested; in detail, advanced nonlinear control strategies are briefly discussed (i. e., intelligent control approaches, synchronization control, decentralized control); also, fundamental results on modeling and control of cooperative systems possessing some degree of flexibility are briefly outlined.

Control of cooperative manipulators in the operational space

Author  Oussama Khatib

Video ID : 70

This video shows a series of experiments on operational space control of cooperative manipulators. Both the virtual linkage and augmented object concepts are experimentally demonstrated, together with cooperative manipulation via multiple mobile arms (Romeo & Juliet).

Chapter 68 — Human Motion Reconstruction

Katsu Yamane and Wataru Takano

This chapter presents a set of techniques for reconstructing and understanding human motions measured using current motion capture technologies. We first review modeling and computation techniques for obtaining motion and force information from human motion data (Sect. 68.2). Here we show that kinematics and dynamics algorithms for articulated rigid bodies can be applied to human motion data processing, with help from models based on knowledge in anatomy and physiology. We then describe methods for analyzing human motions so that robots can segment and categorize different behaviors and use them as the basis for human motion understanding and communication (Sect. 68.3). These methods are based on statistical techniques widely used in linguistics. The two fields share the common goal of converting continuous and noisy signal to discrete symbols, and therefore it is natural to apply similar techniques. Finally, we introduce some application examples of human motion and models ranging from simulated human control to humanoid robot motion synthesis.

Example of optical motion-capture data converted to joint-angle data

Author  Katsu Yamane

Video ID : 762

This video shows an example of optical motion-capture data converted to the joint-angle data of a robot model.

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.

The ArmeoSpring Therapy Exoskeleton

Author  Hocoma, A.G.

Video ID : 502

The ArmeoSpring Therapy Exoskeleton is a widely-used arm- and-hand training exoskeleton manufactured by Hocoma which provides anti-gravity support and can sense trace-grasp force. It is based on the T-WREX device developed at the University of California at Irvine, which in turn was based in part of the WREX arm exoskeleton developed at the A.I. Dupont Hospital for Children.

Chapter 9 — Force Control

Luigi Villani and Joris De Schutter

A fundamental requirement for the success of a manipulation task is the capability to handle the physical contact between a robot and the environment. Pure motion control turns out to be inadequate because the unavoidable modeling errors and uncertainties may cause a rise of the contact force, ultimately leading to an unstable behavior during the interaction, especially in the presence of rigid environments. Force feedback and force control becomes mandatory to achieve a robust and versatile behavior of a robotic system in poorly structured environments as well as safe and dependable operation in the presence of humans. This chapter starts from the analysis of indirect force control strategies, conceived to keep the contact forces limited by ensuring a suitable compliant behavior to the end effector, without requiring an accurate model of the environment. Then the problem of interaction tasks modeling is analyzed, considering both the case of a rigid environment and the case of a compliant environment. For the specification of an interaction task, natural constraints set by the task geometry and artificial constraints set by the control strategy are established, with respect to suitable task frames. This formulation is the essential premise to the synthesis of hybrid force/motion control schemes.

COMRADE: Compliant motion research and development environment

Author  Joris De Schutter, Herman Bruyninckx, Hendrik Van Brussel et al.

Video ID : 691

The video collects works on force control developed in the 1970s-1980s and 1990s at the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium. The tasks were programmed and simulated using the task-frame-based software package COMRADE (compliant motion research and development environment). The video was recorded in the mid-1990s. The main references for the video are: 1. H. Van Brussel, J. Simons: The adaptable compliance concept and its use for automatic assembly by active force feedback accommodations, Proc. 9th Int. Symposium Indust. Robot., Washington (1979), pp.167-181 2. J. Simons, H. Van Brussel, J. De Schutter, J. Verhaert: A self-learning automaton with variable resolution for high precision assembly by industrial robots, IEEE Trans. Autom. Control 27(5), 1109-1113 (1982) 3. J. De Schutter, H. Van Brussel: Compliant robot motion II. A control approach based on external control loops, Int. J. Robot. Res. 7(4), 18-33 (1988) 3.J. De Schutter, H. Van Brussel: Compliant robot motion I. A formalism for specifying compliant motion tasks, Int. J. Robot. Res. 7(4), 3-17 (1988) 4. W. Witvrouw, P. Van de Poel, H. Bruyninckx, J. De Schutter: ROSI: A task specification and simulation tool for force-sensor-based robot control, Proc. 24th Int. Symp. Indust. Robot., Tokyo (1993), pp. 385-392 5. W. Witvrouw, P. Van de Poel, J. De Schutter: COMRADE: Compliant motion research and development environment, Proc. 3rd IFAC/IFIP Workshop on Algorithms and Architecture for Real-Time Control. Ostend (1995), pp. 81-87 6. H. Bruyninckx, S. Dutre, J. De Schutter: Peg-on-hole, a model-based solution to peg and hole alignment, Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. Robot. Autom. (ICRA), Nagoya (1995), pp. 1919-1924 7. M. Nuttin, H. Van Brussel: Learning the peg-into-hole assembly operation with a connectionist reinforcement technique, Comput. Ind. 33(1), 101-109 (1997)