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Chapter 53 — Multiple Mobile Robot Systems

Lynne E. Parker, Daniela Rus and Gaurav S. Sukhatme

Within the context of multiple mobile, and networked robot systems, this chapter explores the current state of the art. After a brief introduction, we first examine architectures for multirobot cooperation, exploring the alternative approaches that have been developed. Next, we explore communications issues and their impact on multirobot teams in Sect. 53.3, followed by a discussion of networked mobile robots in Sect. 53.4. Following this we discuss swarm robot systems in Sect. 53.5 and modular robot systems in Sect. 53.6. While swarm and modular systems typically assume large numbers of homogeneous robots, other types of multirobot systems include heterogeneous robots. We therefore next discuss heterogeneity in cooperative robot teams in Sect. 53.7. Once robot teams allow for individual heterogeneity, issues of task allocation become important; Sect. 53.8 therefore discusses common approaches to task allocation. Section 53.9 discusses the challenges of multirobot learning, and some representative approaches. We outline some of the typical application domains which serve as test beds for multirobot systems research in Sect. 53.10. Finally, we conclude in Sect. 53.11 with some summary remarks and suggestions for further reading.

Robot Pebbles - MIT developing self-sculpting smart-sand robots

Author  Kyle Gilpin, Ara Knaian, Kent Koyanagi, Daniela Rus

Video ID : 211

Researchers at the Distributed Robotics Laboratory at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory are developing tiny robots that could self-assemble into functional tools, then self-disassemble after use. Dubbed the "smart sand," the tiny robots (measuring 0.1 cubic cm) would contain microprocessors and EG magnets which could latch, communicate, and transfer power to each other, enabling them to form life-size replicas of miniature models.

Chapter 76 — Evolutionary Robotics

Stefano Nolfi, Josh Bongard, Phil Husbands and Dario Floreano

Evolutionary Robotics is a method for automatically generating artificial brains and morphologies of autonomous robots. This approach is useful both for investigating the design space of robotic applications and for testing scientific hypotheses of biological mechanisms and processes. In this chapter we provide an overview of methods and results of Evolutionary Robotics with robots of different shapes, dimensions, and operation features. We consider both simulated and physical robots with special consideration to the transfer between the two worlds.

Evolved group coordination

Author  Phil Husbands

Video ID : 376

Identical evolved robots are required to coordinate by coming together and moving off in the same direction. No roles are pre-assigned. The robots must evolve to coordinate such that one robot takes on the role of leader and the others follow. Only minimal sensing is available (proximity IR sensing) and no dedicated communication channels. The robot neural-network controllers are evolved using a minimal simualtion and, as can be seen, these successfully transfer to reality. Work by Matt Quinn, Giles Mayley, Linc Smith and Phil Husbands at Sussex University.

Chapter 47 — Motion Planning and Obstacle Avoidance

Javier Minguez, Florant Lamiraux and Jean-Paul Laumond

This chapter describes motion planning and obstacle avoidance for mobile robots. We will see how the two areas do not share the same modeling background. From the very beginning of motion planning, research has been dominated by computer sciences. Researchers aim at devising well-grounded algorithms with well-understood completeness and exactness properties.

The challenge of this chapter is to present both nonholonomic motion planning (Sects. 47.1–47.6) and obstacle avoidance (Sects. 47.7–47.10) issues. Section 47.11 reviews recent successful approaches that tend to embrace the whole problemofmotion planning and motion control. These approaches benefit from both nonholonomic motion planning and obstacle avoidance methods.

Robotic wheelchair: Autonomous navigation with Google Glass

Author  Personal Robotics Group - OSU

Video ID : 709

For people with extreme disabilities such as ALS or quadriplegia, it is often hard to move about on their own and interact with their environments due to their immobility. Our work - nicknamed "Project Chiron" - attempts to alleviate some of this immobility with a kit that can be used on any Permobil-brand wheelchair.

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 Arm Guide

Author  Lennie Kahn

Video ID : 494

The Arm Guide was an early rehabilitation therapy robot used to study the role of active assistance in robotic therapy after stroke, which was developed at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and the University of California at Irvine. It was a singly-actuated, trombone-like device which could be oriented in different directions. It was used to sense patient's arm movement along a linear bearing and then assisted in completing movements with a motor attached to a timing belt along the bearing. It also measured off-axis forces generated against the linear bearing, using a 6-axis force-torque cell in order to quantify abnormal synergies.

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.

Serbot Robot Clean Ant Profi

Author  Erwin Prassler

Video ID : 737

Video presents a professional window-leaning robot Serbot.

Chapter 51 — Modeling and Control of Underwater Robots

Gianluca Antonelli, Thor I. Fossen and Dana R. Yoerger

This chapter deals with modeling and control of underwater robots. First, a brief introduction showing the constantly expanding role of marine robotics in oceanic engineering is given; this section also contains some historical backgrounds. Most of the following sections strongly overlap with the corresponding chapters presented in this handbook; hence, to avoid useless repetitions, only those aspects peculiar to the underwater environment are discussed, assuming that the reader is already familiar with concepts such as fault detection systems when discussing the corresponding underwater implementation. Themodeling section is presented by focusing on a coefficient-based approach capturing the most relevant underwater dynamic effects. Two sections dealing with the description of the sensor and the actuating systems are then given. Autonomous underwater vehicles require the implementation of mission control system as well as guidance and control algorithms. Underwater localization is also discussed. Underwater manipulation is then briefly approached. Fault detection and fault tolerance, together with the coordination control of multiple underwater vehicles, conclude the theoretical part of the chapter. Two final sections, reporting some successful applications and discussing future perspectives, conclude the chapter. The reader is referred to Chap. 25 for the design issues.

Multi-vehicle bathymetry mission

Author  Laboratario de Sistemas e Tecnologias Subaquaticas - Porto University / The NOPTILUS project

Video ID : 323

Two LAUV vehicles perform a bathymetry mission inside Porto Harbor. This video shows the deployment, execution, and data-revision phases of the mission. NOPTILUS is funded by the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme ICT-FP.

Chapter 69 — Physical Human-Robot Interaction

Sami Haddadin and Elizabeth Croft

Over the last two decades, the foundations for physical human–robot interaction (pHRI) have evolved from successful developments in mechatronics, control, and planning, leading toward safer lightweight robot designs and interaction control schemes that advance beyond the current capacities of existing high-payload and highprecision position-controlled industrial robots. Based on their ability to sense physical interaction, render compliant behavior along the robot structure, plan motions that respect human preferences, and generate interaction plans for collaboration and coaction with humans, these novel robots have opened up novel and unforeseen application domains, and have advanced the field of human safety in robotics.

This chapter gives an overview on the state of the art in pHRI as of the date of publication. First, the advances in human safety are outlined, addressing topics in human injury analysis in robotics and safety standards for pHRI. Then, the foundations of human-friendly robot design, including the development of lightweight and intrinsically flexible force/torque-controlled machines together with the required perception abilities for interaction are introduced. Subsequently, motionplanning techniques for human environments, including the domains of biomechanically safe, risk-metric-based, human-aware planning are covered. Finally, the rather recent problem of interaction planning is summarized, including the issues of collaborative action planning, the definition of the interaction planning problem, and an introduction to robot reflexes and reactive control architecture for pHRI.

ISAC: A demonstration

Author  Kazukiko Kawamura, Sugato Bagchi, Robert Todd Pack, Pabolo Martinez

Video ID : 614

At the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory of the Center for Intelligent Systems at Vanderbilt University, the authors developed a humanoid system called the Intelligent Soft-Arm Control. ISAC was originally developed for a robotic assistance system for the physically disabled.

Chapter 78 — Perceptual Robotics

Heinrich Bülthoff, Christian Wallraven and Martin A. Giese

Robots that share their environment with humans need to be able to recognize and manipulate objects and users, perform complex navigation tasks, and interpret and react to human emotional and communicative gestures. In all of these perceptual capabilities, the human brain, however, is still far ahead of robotic systems. Hence, taking clues from the way the human brain solves such complex perceptual tasks will help to design better robots. Similarly, once a robot interacts with humans, its behaviors and reactions will be judged by humans – movements of the robot, for example, should be fluid and graceful, and it should not evoke an eerie feeling when interacting with a user. In this chapter, we present Perceptual Robotics as the field of robotics that takes inspiration from perception research and neuroscience to, first, build better perceptual capabilities into robotic systems and, second, to validate the perceptual impact of robotic systems on the user.

Active in-hand object recognition

Author  Christian Wallraven

Video ID : 569

This video showcases the implementation of active object learning and recognition using the framework proposed in Browatzki et al. [1, 2]. The first phase shows the robot trying to learn the visual representation of several paper cups differing by a few key features. The robot executes a pre-programmed exploration program to look at the cup from all sides. The (very low-resolution) visual input is tracked and so-called key-frames are extracted which represent the (visual) exploration. After learning, the robot tries to recognize cups that have been placed into its hands using a similar exploration program based on visual information - due to the low-resolution input and the highly similar objects, the robot, however, fails to make the correct decision. The video then shows the second, advanced, exploration, which is based on actively seeking the view that is expected to provide maximum information about the object. For this, the robot embeds the learned visual information into a proprioceptive map indexed by the two joint angles of the hand. In this map, the robot now tries to predict the joint-angle combination that provides the most information about the object, given the current state of exploration. The implementation uses particle filtering to track a large number of object (view) hypotheses at the same time. Since the robot now uses a multisensory representation, the subsequent object-recognition trials are all correct, despite poor visual input and highly similar objects. References: [1] B Browatzki, V. Tikhanoff, G. Metta, H.H. Bülthoff, C. Wallraven: Active in-hand object recognition on a humanoid robot, IEEE Trans. Robot. 30(5), 1260-1269 (2014); [2] B. Browatzki, V. Tikhanoff, G. Metta, H.H. Bülthoff, C. Wallraven: Active object recognition on a humanoid robot, Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. Robot. Autom. (ICRA), St. Paul (2012), pp. 2021-2028.

Chapter 72 — Social Robotics

Cynthia Breazeal, Kerstin Dautenhahn and Takayuki Kanda

This chapter surveys some of the principal research trends in Social Robotics and its application to human–robot interaction (HRI). Social (or Sociable) robots are designed to interact with people in a natural, interpersonal manner – often to achieve positive outcomes in diverse applications such as education, health, quality of life, entertainment, communication, and tasks requiring collaborative teamwork. The long-term goal of creating social robots that are competent and capable partners for people is quite a challenging task. They will need to be able to communicate naturally with people using both verbal and nonverbal signals. They will need to engage us not only on a cognitive level, but on an emotional level as well in order to provide effective social and task-related support to people. They will need a wide range of socialcognitive skills and a theory of other minds to understand human behavior, and to be intuitively understood by people. A deep understanding of human intelligence and behavior across multiple dimensions (i. e., cognitive, affective, physical, social, etc.) is necessary in order to design robots that can successfully play a beneficial role in the daily lives of people. This requires a multidisciplinary approach where the design of social robot technologies and methodologies are informed by robotics, artificial intelligence, psychology, neuroscience, human factors, design, anthropology, and more.

A learning companion robot to foster pre-K vocabulary learning

Author  Cynthia Breazeal

Video ID : 564

This video summarizes a study where a learning-companion robot engages children in a storytelling game over repeated encounters over two months. The learning objective is for pre-K children to learn targeted vocabulary words which the robot introduces in its stories. In each session, the robot first tells a story and then invites the child to tell a story. A storyscape app on a tablet computer facilitates the narration of the story. While the child tells his or her story, the robot behaves as an engaged listener. Two conditions were investigated where the robot either matched the complexity of its stories to the child's language level, or does not. Results show that children successfully learn target vocabulary with the robot in general, and more words are learned when the complexity of the robot's stories matches the language ability of the child.

Chapter 13 — Behavior-Based Systems

François Michaud and Monica Nicolescu

Nature is filled with examples of autonomous creatures capable of dealing with the diversity, unpredictability, and rapidly changing conditions of the real world. Such creatures must make decisions and take actions based on incomplete perception, time constraints, limited knowledge about the world, cognition, reasoning and physical capabilities, in uncontrolled conditions and with very limited cues about the intent of others. Consequently, one way of evaluating intelligence is based on the creature’s ability to make the most of what it has available to handle the complexities of the real world. The main objective of this chapter is to explain behavior-based systems and their use in autonomous control problems and applications. The chapter is organized as follows. Section 13.1 overviews robot control, introducing behavior-based systems in relation to other established approaches to robot control. Section 13.2 follows by outlining the basic principles of behavior-based systems that make them distinct from other types of robot control architectures. The concept of basis behaviors, the means of modularizing behavior-based systems, is presented in Sect. 13.3. Section 13.4 describes how behaviors are used as building blocks for creating representations for use by behavior-based systems, enabling the robot to reason about the world and about itself in that world. Section 13.5 presents several different classes of learning methods for behavior-based systems, validated on single-robot and multirobot systems. Section 13.6 provides an overview of various robotics problems and application domains that have successfully been addressed or are currently being studied with behavior-based control. Finally, Sect. 13.7 concludes the chapter.

Experience-based learning of high-level task representations: Reproduction

Author  Monica Nicolescu

Video ID : 28

This is a video recorded in early 2000s, showing a Pioneer robot visiting a number of targets in a certain order based on a demonstration provided by a human user. The robot training stage is also shown in a related video in this chapter. References: 1. M. Nicolescu, M.J. Mataric: Experience-based learning of task representations from human-robot interaction, Proc. IEEE Int. Symp. Comput. Intell. Robot. Autom. , Banff (2001), pp. 463-468; 2. M. Nicolescu, M.J. Mataric: Learning and interacting in human-robot domains, IEEE Trans. Syst. Man Cybernet. A31(5), 419-430 (2001)