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Chapter 30 — Sonar Sensing

Lindsay Kleeman and Roman Kuc

Sonar or ultrasonic sensing uses the propagation of acoustic energy at higher frequencies than normal hearing to extract information from the environment. This chapter presents the fundamentals and physics of sonar sensing for object localization, landmark measurement and classification in robotics applications. The source of sonar artifacts is explained and how they can be dealt with. Different ultrasonic transducer technologies are outlined with their main characteristics highlighted.

Sonar systems are described that range in sophistication from low-cost threshold-based ranging modules to multitransducer multipulse configurations with associated signal processing requirements capable of accurate range and bearing measurement, interference rejection, motion compensation, and target classification. Continuous-transmission frequency-modulated (CTFM) systems are introduced and their ability to improve target sensitivity in the presence of noise is discussed. Various sonar ring designs that provide rapid surrounding environmental coverage are described in conjunction with mapping results. Finally the chapter ends with a discussion of biomimetic sonar, which draws inspiration from animals such as bats and dolphins.

Sonar-guided chair at Yale

Author  Roman Kuc

Video ID : 295

Four strategically-placed Polaroid vergence sonar pairs on an electric scooter are controlled by a PIC16877 microcontroller interfaced to the joystick and the wheelchair controller. The sonar vergence pair below the foot stand determines if the obstacle is to the left or right. A sonar vergence pair on each side of the chair (at knee level) determines if the chair can pass by an obstacle without collision. A right-side-looking vergence pair maintains the distance and a parallel path to the wall. When sonar detects obstacles, the user joystick commands are overridden to avoid collision with those obstacles. The blindfolded user navigates a cluttered hallway by holding the joystick in a constant forward position.

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.

Robot dragonfly DelFly Explorer flies autonomously

Author  Christophe De Wagter, Sjoerd Tijmons, Bart D.W. Remes, Guido C.H.E. de Croon

Video ID : 402

The DelFly Explorer is the first flapping-wing micro air vehicle that is able to fly with complete autonomy in unknown environments. Weighing just 20 g, it is equipped with a 4 g onboard, stereo-vision system. The DelFly Explorer can perform an autonomous take-off, maintain its height, and avoid obstacles for as long as its battery lasts (~9 min). All sensing and processing is performed onboard, so no human or offboard computer is in the loop.

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.

Human-robot handover

Author  Wesley P. Chan, Chris A. Parker, H.F.Machiel Van der Loos, Elizabeth A. Croft

Video ID : 716

In this video, we present a novel controller for safe, efficient, and intuitive robot-to-human object handovers. The controller enables a robot to mimic human behavior by actively regulating the applied grip force according to the measured load force during a handover. We provide an implementation of the controller on a Willow Garage PR2 robot, demonstrating the feasibility of realizing our design on robots with basic sensor/actuator capabilities.

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.

Learning dexterous grasps that generalize to novel objects by combining hand and contact models

Author  Marek Kopicki, Renaud Detry, Florian Schmidt, Christoph Borst, Rustam Stolkin, Jeremy Wyatt

Video ID : 650

We show how a robot learns grasps for high-DOF hands that generalize to novel objects, given as little as one demonstrated grasp. During grasp learning two types of probability density are learned that model the demonstrated grasp. The first density type (the contact model) models the relationship of an individual finger part to local surface features at its contact point. The second density type (the hand configuration model) models the whole hand configuration during the approach to grasp.

Chapter 27 — Micro-/Nanorobots

Bradley J. Nelson, Lixin Dong and Fumihito Arai

The field of microrobotics covers the robotic manipulation of objects with dimensions in the millimeter to micron range as well as the design and fabrication of autonomous robotic agents that fall within this size range. Nanorobotics is defined in the same way only for dimensions smaller than a micron. With the ability to position and orient objects with micron- and nanometer-scale dimensions, manipulation at each of these scales is a promising way to enable the assembly of micro- and nanosystems, including micro- and nanorobots.

This chapter overviews the state of the art of both micro- and nanorobotics, outlines scaling effects, actuation, and sensing and fabrication at these scales, and focuses on micro- and nanorobotic manipulation systems and their application in microassembly, biotechnology, and the construction and characterization of micro and nanoelectromechanical systems (MEMS/NEMS). Material science, biotechnology, and micro- and nanoelectronics will also benefit from advances in these areas of robotics.

Attogram mass delivery from a carbon nanotube

Author  Lixin Dong

Video ID : 489

This video shows the mass delivery from a carbon nanotube based on nanorobotic manipulation inside a transmission electron microscope. Copper atoms were driven out from the nanotube due to electromigration. A typical mass flow rate is around 1 atom per microsecond. Applications of this phenomenon in nanorobotic spot welding, bubbling of sphere-on-pillar optical antennas, and direct writing of 3-D metallic nanostructures have been demonstrated.

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 ROTEX: The first remotely-controlled space robot

Author  Gerd Hirzinger, Klaus Landzettel

Video ID : 330

Remotely-controlled space robot ROTEX in the Spacelab D2 mission flown with Shuttle Columbia in April 1993. Among the highlights of the experiment were the verification of shared autonomy when opening a bayonet closure and the fully autonomous grasping of a free-flying object with 6 s round-trip delay.

Chapter 26 — Flying Robots

Stefan Leutenegger, Christoph Hürzeler, Amanda K. Stowers, Kostas Alexis, Markus W. Achtelik, David Lentink, Paul Y. Oh and Roland Siegwart

Unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) have drawn increasing attention recently, owing to advancements in related research, technology, and applications. While having been deployed successfully in military scenarios for decades, civil use cases have lately been tackled by the robotics research community.

This chapter overviews the core elements of this highly interdisciplinary field; the reader is guided through the design process of aerial robots for various applications starting with a qualitative characterization of different types of UAS. Design and modeling are closely related, forming a typically iterative process of drafting and analyzing the related properties. Therefore, we overview aerodynamics and dynamics, as well as their application to fixed-wing, rotary-wing, and flapping-wing UAS, including related analytical tools and practical guidelines. Respecting use-case-specific requirements and core autonomous robot demands, we finally provide guidelines to related system integration challenges.

sFly: Visual-inertial SLAM for a small helicopter in large outdoor environments

Author  Markus W. Achtelik

Video ID : 688

This video presents indicative results from the sFly project ( involving fully autonomous flights with a small helicopter, performing autonomous flights in previously unknown, large outdoor spaces. The video appears in IEEE/RSJ Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) 2012.

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.

3-DOF high-speed 3-RPS parallel robot

Author  Tian Huang

Video ID : 43

This video demonstrates a 3-DOF high-speed 3-RPS parallel robot (with A3 head).

Chapter 21 — Actuators for Soft Robotics

Alin Albu-Schäffer and Antonio Bicchi

Although we do not know as yet how robots of the future will look like exactly, most of us are sure that they will not resemble the heavy, bulky, rigid machines dangerously moving around in old fashioned industrial automation. There is a growing consensus, in the research community as well as in expectations from the public, that robots of the next generation will be physically compliant and adaptable machines, closely interacting with humans and moving safely, smoothly and efficiently - in other terms, robots will be soft.

This chapter discusses the design, modeling and control of actuators for the new generation of soft robots, which can replace conventional actuators in applications where rigidity is not the first and foremost concern in performance. The chapter focuses on the technology, modeling, and control of lumped parameters of soft robotics, that is, systems of discrete, interconnected, and compliant elements. Distributed parameters, snakelike and continuum soft robotics, are presented in Chap. 20, while Chap. 23 discusses in detail the biomimetic motivations that are often behind soft robotics.

DLR Hand Arm System: Punching holes

Author  Alin Albu-Schäffer, Thomas Bahls, Maxime Chalon, Markus Grebenstein, Oliver Eiberger, Werner Friedl, Hannes Höppner, Dominic Lakatos, Daniel Leidner, Florian Petit, Jens Reinecke, Sebastian Wolf, Tilo Wüsthoff

Video ID : 546

The DLR Hand Arm System uses a tool to punch holes into a business card. The passive flexibility in the variable stiffness actuators (VSA) helps to keep a stable grasp during the impact and protects the hardware from damage. The movement is realized by cyclic motion control and a learning algorithm to improve the accuracy of the holes.

Chapter 61 — Robot Surveillance and Security

Wendell H. Chun and Nikolaos Papanikolopoulos

This chapter introduces the foundation for surveillance and security robots for multiple military and civilian applications. The key environmental domains are mobile robots for ground, aerial, surface water, and underwater applications. Surveillance literallymeans to watch fromabove,while surveillance robots are used to monitor the behavior, activities, and other changing information that are gathered for the general purpose of managing, directing, or protecting one’s assets or position. In a practical sense, the term surveillance is taken to mean the act of observation from a distance, and security robots are commonly used to protect and safeguard a location, some valuable assets, or personal against danger, damage, loss, and crime. Surveillance is a proactive operation,while security robots are a defensive operation. The construction of each type of robot is similar in nature with amobility component, sensor payload, communication system, and an operator control station.

After introducing the major robot components, this chapter focuses on the various applications. More specifically, Sect. 61.3 discusses the enabling technologies of mobile robot navigation, various payload sensors used for surveillance or security applications, target detection and tracking algorithms, and the operator’s robot control console for human–machine interface (HMI). Section 61.4 presents selected research activities relevant to surveillance and security, including automatic data processing of the payload sensors, automaticmonitoring of human activities, facial recognition, and collaborative automatic target recognition (ATR). Finally, Sect. 61.5 discusses future directions in robot surveillance and security, giving some conclusions and followed by references.

Ground security robot

Author  Stacy Stephens

Video ID : 677

Knightscope is developing human-size robot patrols that are intended to serve in jobs such as monitoring corporate and college campuses, shopping malls, and schools. The robots are designed to detect anomalous behavior, such as someone walking through a building at night, and to report back to a remote security center.