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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.

Transport of a child by swarm-bots

Author  Ivan Aloisio, Michael Bonani, Francesco Mondada, Andre Guignard, Roderich Gross, Dario Floreano

Video ID : 212

This video shows a swarm of s-bot, miniature, mobile robots in swarm-bot formation pulling a child across the floor.

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.

Visual navigation with collision avoidance

Author  Dario Floreano

Video ID : 37

Evolved Khepera displaying vision-based collision avoidance. A network of spiking neurons is evolved to drive the vision-based robot in the arena. A llight below the rotating contacts enables continuous evolution, even overnight.

Chapter 49 — Modeling and Control of Wheeled Mobile Robots

Claude Samson, Pascal Morin and Roland Lenain

This chaptermay be seen as a follow up to Chap. 24, devoted to the classification and modeling of basic wheeled mobile robot (WMR) structures, and a natural complement to Chap. 47, which surveys motion planning methods for WMRs. A typical output of these methods is a feasible (or admissible) reference state trajectory for a given mobile robot, and a question which then arises is how to make the physical mobile robot track this reference trajectory via the control of the actuators with which the vehicle is equipped. The object of the present chapter is to bring elements of the answer to this question based on simple and effective control strategies.

The chapter is organized as follows. Section 49.2 is devoted to the choice of controlmodels and the determination of modeling equations associated with the path-following control problem. In Sect. 49.3, the path following and trajectory stabilization problems are addressed in the simplest case when no requirement is made on the robot orientation (i. e., position control). In Sect. 49.4 the same problems are revisited for the control of both position and orientation. The previously mentionned sections consider an ideal robot satisfying the rolling-without-sliding assumption. In Sect. 49.5, we relax this assumption in order to take into account nonideal wheel-ground contact. This is especially important for field-robotics applications and the proposed results are validated through full scale experiments on natural terrain. Finally, a few complementary issues on the feedback control of mobile robots are briefly discussed in the concluding Sect. 49.6, with a list of commented references for further reading on WMRs motion control.

Mobile robot control in off-road conditions and under high dynamics

Author  Roland Lenain

Video ID : 435

This video illustrates the motion-control strategy detailed in Chap. 49, Springer Handbook of Robotics, 2nd edn (2016), when the ideal rolling-without-sliding conditions are not met. In the two segments, the robot follows a previously recorded trajectory, using RTK GPS. The first segment illustrates the capabilities on uneven ground at low speed, while the second shows results at high speed. Accuracy within a few centimeters is obtained thanks to adaptive and predictive approaches, whereas accuracy close to 1 m in the first case and 5 m for the second case are observed using the rolling-without-sliding assumption.

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 MIME rtehabilitation-therapy robot

Author  Peter Lum,Machiel Van der Loos, Chuck Burgar

Video ID : 495

The 6-DOF MIME robot assisting the left arm in unilateral and bimanual modes. In the unilateral mode, the robot provides end-point tunnel guidance toward the target. In bimanual mode, movement of the right arm is measured with a 6-DOF digitizer, and the robot assists the left arm in performing mirror-image movements.

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.

Social learning applied to task execution

Author  Cynthia Breazeal

Video ID : 562

This is a video demonstration of the Leonardo robot integrating learning via tutelage, self motivated learning and preference learning to perform a tangram-like task. First the robot learns a policy for how to operate a remote-control box to reveal key shapes needed for the next task, integrating self-motivated exploration with tutelage. The human can shape what the robot learns through a variety of social means. Once Leo has learned a policy, the robot begins the tangram task, which is to make a sailboat figure out of the colored blocks on the virtual workspace. During this interaction, the person has a preference for which block colors to use (yellow and blue), which he conveys through nonverbal means. The robot learns this preference rule from observing these nonverbal cues. During the task, the robot needs blocks of a certain shape and color and which are not readily available on the workspace, but can be accessed by operating the remote-control box to reveal those shapes. Leo evokes those recently learned policies to access those shapes to achieve the goal of making the sailboat figure.

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 56 — Robotics in Agriculture and Forestry

Marcel Bergerman, John Billingsley, John Reid and Eldert van Henten

Robotics for agriculture and forestry (A&F) represents the ultimate application of one of our society’s latest and most advanced innovations to its most ancient and important industries. Over the course of history, mechanization and automation increased crop output several orders of magnitude, enabling a geometric growth in population and an increase in quality of life across the globe. Rapid population growth and rising incomes in developing countries, however, require ever larger amounts of A&F output. This chapter addresses robotics for A&F in the form of case studies where robotics is being successfully applied to solve well-identified problems. With respect to plant crops, the focus is on the in-field or in-farm tasks necessary to guarantee a quality crop and, generally speaking, end at harvest time. In the livestock domain, the focus is on breeding and nurturing, exploiting, harvesting, and slaughtering and processing. The chapter is organized in four main sections. The first one explains the scope, in particular, what aspects of robotics for A&F are dealt with in the chapter. The second one discusses the challenges and opportunities associated with the application of robotics to A&F. The third section is the core of the chapter, presenting twenty case studies that showcase (mostly) mature applications of robotics in various agricultural and forestry domains. The case studies are not meant to be comprehensive but instead to give the reader a general overview of how robotics has been applied to A&F in the last 10 years. The fourth section concludes the chapter with a discussion on specific improvements to current technology and paths to commercialization.

An autonomous robot for de-leafing cucumber plants

Author  Elder J. van Henten, Bart A.J. van Tuijl, G. J. Hoogakker, M.J. van der Weerd, Jochen Hemming, J.G. Kornet, Jan Bontsema

Video ID : 309

In cucumber production, amongst other crops, removal of old non-productive leaves in the lower regions of the plant is a time consuming task. Based on the platform of the autonomous cucumber harvester at Wageningen University and Research Centre, Wageningen, The Netherlands, a robot for de-leafing cucumber plants was developed. The platform's camera system identifies and locates the main stems of the plants. The gripper is sent to the plant and moved upwards. Leaves encountered during this upward motion are separated from the plant using a thermal cutting device which prevents transmission of viruses from plant to plant. An interesting feature of this machine is that, with slight modifications of software and hardware, two greenhouse operations can be performed.

Chapter 40 — Mobility and Manipulation

Oliver Brock, Jaeheung Park and Marc Toussaint

Mobile manipulation requires the integration of methodologies from all aspects of robotics. Instead of tackling each aspect in isolation,mobilemanipulation research exploits their interdependence to solve challenging problems. As a result, novel views of long-standing problems emerge. In this chapter, we present these emerging views in the areas of grasping, control, motion generation, learning, and perception. All of these areas must address the shared challenges of high-dimensionality, uncertainty, and task variability. The section on grasping and manipulation describes a trend towards actively leveraging contact and physical and dynamic interactions between hand, object, and environment. Research in control addresses the challenges of appropriately coupling mobility and manipulation. The field of motion generation increasingly blurs the boundaries between control and planning, leading to task-consistent motion in high-dimensional configuration spaces, even in dynamic and partially unknown environments. A key challenge of learning formobilemanipulation consists of identifying the appropriate priors, and we survey recent learning approaches to perception, grasping, motion, and manipulation. Finally, a discussion of promising methods in perception shows how concepts and methods from navigation and active perception are applied.

Autonomous robot skill acquisition

Author  Scott Kuindersma, George Konidaris

Video ID : 669

This video demonstrates the autonomous-skill acquisition of a robot acting in a constrained environment called the "Red Room". The environment consists of buttons, levers, and switches, all located at points of interest designated by ARTags. The robot can navigate to these locations and perform primitive manipulation actions, some of which affect the physical state of the maze (e.g., by opening or closing a door).

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)

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.

Home pool-cleaner review - Five types of robotic cleaners

Author  Erwin Prassler

Video ID : 739

Video presents a comparison of five commercial pool-cleaning robots from Dolphin, Baracuda, Kreepy Krauly, Hayward, and Gemini.