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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.

IREP tagging spikes

Author  Nabil Simaan

Video ID : 246

This video shows telemanipulation of the IREP (insertible robotic effectors platform). The IREP is a system having 21 controllable axes including two 7-DOF dexterous arms, 3-DOF camera head, an insertion stage, and two grippers [1]. Reference: [1] A. Bajo, R. E. Goldman, L. Wang, D. Fowler, N. Simaan: Integration and preliminary evaluation of an insertable robotic effectors platform for single port access surgery, Proc. 2012 IEEE Int. Conf. Robot. Autom. (ICRA), St. Paul (2012), pp. 3381-3387

Chapter 41 — Active Manipulation for Perception

Anna Petrovskaya and Kaijen Hsiao

This chapter covers perceptual methods in which manipulation is an integral part of perception. These methods face special challenges due to data sparsity and high costs of sensing actions. However, they can also succeed where other perceptual methods fail, for example, in poor-visibility conditions or for learning the physical properties of a scene.

The chapter focuses on specialized methods that have been developed for object localization, inference, planning, recognition, and modeling in activemanipulation approaches.We concludewith a discussion of real-life applications and directions for future research.

Modeling articulated objects using active manipulation

Author  Juergen Strum

Video ID : 78

The video illustrates a mobile, manipulation robot that interacts with various articulated objects, such as a fridge and a dishwasher, in a kitchen environment. During interaction, the robot learns their kinematic properties such as the rotation axis and the configuration space. Knowing the kinematic model of these objects improves the performance of the robot and enables motion planning. Service robots operating in domestic environments are typically faced with a variety of objects they have to deal with to fulfill their tasks. Some of these objects are articulated such as cabinet doors and drawers, or room and garage doors. The ability to deal with such articulated objects is relevant for service robots, as, for example, they need to open doors when navigating between rooms and to open cabinets to pick up objects in fetch-and-carry applications. We developed a complete probabilistic framework that enables robots to learn the kinematic models of articulated objects from observations of their motion. We combine parametric and nonparametric models consistently and utilize the advantages of both methods. As a result of our approach, a robot can robustly operate articulated objects in unstructured environments. All software is available open-source (including documentation and tutorials) on http://www.ros.org/wiki/articulation.

Chapter 17 — Limbed Systems

Shuuji Kajita and Christian Ott

A limbed system is a mobile robot with a body, legs and arms. First, its general design process is discussed in Sect. 17.1. Then we consider issues of conceptual design and observe designs of various existing robots in Sect. 17.2. As an example in detail, the design of a humanoid robot HRP-4C is shown in Sect. 17.3. To design a limbed system of good performance, it is important to take into account of actuation and control, like gravity compensation, limit cycle dynamics, template models, and backdrivable actuation. These are discussed in Sect. 17.4.

In Sect. 17.5, we overview divergence of limbed systems. We see odd legged walkers, leg–wheel hybrid robots, leg–arm hybrid robots, tethered walking robots, and wall-climbing robots. To compare limbed systems of different configurations,we can use performance indices such as the gait sensitivity norm, the Froude number, and the specific resistance, etc., which are introduced in Sect. 17.6.

Torque-controlled humanoid robot TORO

Author  Christian Ott

Video ID : 531

A torque-controlled humanoid robot TORO developed by the German Aerospace Center (DLR).

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.

Camera control from gaze

Author  Fabien Spindler

Video ID : 702

Visual-servoing techniques consist of using the data provided by one or several cameras in order to control the motion of a robotic security or surveillance system. A large variety of positioning or target tracking tasks can be implemented by controlling from one to all degrees of freedom of the system.

Chapter 7 — Motion Planning

Lydia E. Kavraki and Steven M. LaValle

This chapter first provides a formulation of the geometric path planning problem in Sect. 7.2 and then introduces sampling-based planning in Sect. 7.3. Sampling-based planners are general techniques applicable to a wide set of problems and have been successful in dealing with hard planning instances. For specific, often simpler, planning instances, alternative approaches exist and are presented in Sect. 7.4. These approaches provide theoretical guarantees and for simple planning instances they outperform samplingbased planners. Section 7.5 considers problems that involve differential constraints, while Sect. 7.6 overviews several other extensions of the basic problem formulation and proposed solutions. Finally, Sect. 7.8 addresses some important andmore advanced topics related to motion planning.

Powder transfer task using demonstration-guided motion planning

Author  Ron Alterovitz

Video ID : 17

In unstructured environments such as people's homes, robots executing a task might need to avoid obstacles while satisfying the task's motion constraints. In this video, a robot completes a powder transfer task using demonstration-guided motion planning, an approach that combines an asymptotically-optimal sampling-based motion planner with a learned cost metric which encodes the task constraints.

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.

VSA-CubeBot - Peg in hole

Author  Centro di Ricerca "E. Piaggio"

Video ID : 460

VSA-CubeBot performing an assembly task. It consists in inserting a chamfered 29.5 mm diameter cylindrical peg in a 30 mm diameter round hole. The task is performed using only inexpensive position sensors, without force measurements, by exploiting the intrinsic mechanical elasticity of the variable impedance actuation units.

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.

Formation control via a distributed controller-observer

Author  Gianluca Antonelli, Filippo Arrichiello, Fabrizio Caccavale, Alessandro Marino

Video ID : 293

This video shows an experiment of formation control with a multirobot system composed of Khepera III mobile robots using the distributed controller-observer schema.

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.

UBH2, University of Bologna Hand, ver. 2 (1992)

Author  Claudio Melchiorri

Video ID : 756

This hand, developed at the University of Bologna at the beginning of the 1990s, was the first to implement the "whole-hand-manipulation" capability. It was equipped with intrinsic tactile force/torque sensors in each phalange and in the palm.

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.

Views of robot control screen – Inspecting Fukushima powerplant

Author  James P. Trevelyan

Video ID : 582

This video shows multiple simultaneous camera views from a robot (possibly Quince) inside one of the Fukushima reactor buildings.

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.

Hammering task with the DLR Hand Arm System

Author  Markus Grebenstein, Alin Albu-Schäffer, Thomas Bahls, Maxime Chalon, Oliver Eiberger, Werner Friedl, Robin Gruber, Sami Haddadin, Ulrich Hagn, Robert Haslinger, Hannes Höppner, Stefan Jörg, Mathias Nickl, Alexander Nothhelfer, Florian Petit, Josef Rei

Video ID : 464

The DLR Hand Arm System uses a hammer to drive a nail into a wooden board. The passive flexibility in the variable stiffness actuators (VSA) helps to keep a stable grasp during the impact and protects the hardware from damage.