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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 46 — Simultaneous Localization and Mapping

Cyrill Stachniss, John J. Leonard and Sebastian Thrun

This chapter provides a comprehensive introduction in to the simultaneous localization and mapping problem, better known in its abbreviated form as SLAM. SLAM addresses the main perception problem of a robot navigating an unknown environment. While navigating the environment, the robot seeks to acquire a map thereof, and at the same time it wishes to localize itself using its map. The use of SLAM problems can be motivated in two different ways: one might be interested in detailed environment models, or one might seek to maintain an accurate sense of a mobile robot’s location. SLAM serves both of these purposes.

We review the three major paradigms from which many published methods for SLAM are derived: (1) the extended Kalman filter (EKF); (2) particle filtering; and (3) graph optimization. We also review recent work in three-dimensional (3-D) SLAM using visual and red green blue distance-sensors (RGB-D), and close with a discussion of open research problems in robotic mapping.

Pose graph compression for laser-based SLAM

Author  Cyrill Stachniss

Video ID : 449

This video illustrates pose graph compression, a technique for achieving long-term SLAM, as discussed in Chap. 46.5, Springer Handbook of Robotics, 2nd edn (2016). Reference: H. Kretzschmar, C. Stachniss: Information-theoretic compression of pose graphs for laser-based SLAM, Int. J. Robot. Res. 31(11), 1219--1230 (2012).

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 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.

Single- and dual-arm supervisory and shared control

Author  Paul S. Schenker, Antal K. Bejczy, Won S. Kim

Video ID : 299

This video shows single- and dual-arm supervisory and shared teleoperation control for the remote repair of solar panels attached to a space satellite.

Chapter 70 — Human-Robot Augmentation

Massimo Bergamasco and Hugh Herr

The development of robotic systems capable of sharing with humans the load of heavy tasks has been one of the primary objectives in robotics research. At present, in order to fulfil such an objective, a strong interest in the robotics community is collected by the so-called wearable robots, a class of robotics systems that are worn and directly controlled by the human operator. Wearable robots, together with powered orthoses that exploit robotic components and control strategies, can represent an immediate resource also for allowing humans to restore manipulation and/or walking functionalities.

The present chapter deals with wearable robotics systems capable of providing different levels of functional and/or operational augmentation to the human beings for specific functions or tasks. Prostheses, powered orthoses, and exoskeletons are described for upper limb, lower limb, and whole body structures. State-of-theart devices together with their functionalities and main components are presented for each class of wearable system. Critical design issues and open research aspects are reported.

Body Extender transversal joint

Author  Massimo Bergamasco

Video ID : 149

The video shows a CAD 3-D animation of the patented actuation mechanism of the Body Extender transversal joint.

Chapter 38 — Grasping

Domenico Prattichizzo and Jeffrey C. Trinkle

This chapter introduces fundamental models of grasp analysis. The overall model is a coupling of models that define contact behavior with widely used models of rigid-body kinematics and dynamics. The contact model essentially boils down to the selection of components of contact force and moment that are transmitted through each contact. Mathematical properties of the complete model naturally give rise to five primary grasp types whose physical interpretations provide insight for grasp and manipulation planning.

After introducing the basic models and types of grasps, this chapter focuses on the most important grasp characteristic: complete restraint. A grasp with complete restraint prevents loss of contact and thus is very secure. Two primary restraint properties are form closure and force closure. A form closure grasp guarantees maintenance of contact as long as the links of the hand and the object are well-approximated as rigid and as long as the joint actuators are sufficiently strong. As will be seen, the primary difference between form closure and force closure grasps is the latter’s reliance on contact friction. This translates into requiring fewer contacts to achieve force closure than form closure.

The goal of this chapter is to give a thorough understanding of the all-important grasp properties of form and force closure. This will be done through detailed derivations of grasp models and discussions of illustrative examples. For an indepth historical perspective and a treasure-trove bibliography of papers addressing a wide range of topics in grasping, the reader is referred to [38.1].

Grasp analysis using the MATLAB toolbox SynGrasp

Author  Monica Malvezzi, Guido Gioioso, Gionata Salvietti, Domenico Prattichizzo

Video ID : 551

In this video a examples of few grasp analysis are documented and reported. The analysis is performed using SynGrasp, a MATLAB toolbox for grasp analysis. It provides a graphical user interface (GUI) which the user can adopt to easily load a hand and an object, and a series of functions that the user can assemble and modify to exploit all the toolbox features. The video shows how to use SynGrasp to model and analyze grasping, and, in particular it shows how users can select and load in the GUI a hand model, then choose an object and place it in the workspace selecting its position w.r.t. the hand. The grasp is obtained closing the hand from an initial configuration, which can be set by the users acting on hand joints. Once the grasp is defined, it can be analyzed by evaluating grasp quality measures available in the toolbox. Grasps can be described either using the provided grasp planner or directly defining contact points on the hand with the respective contact normal directions. SynGrasp can model both fully and underactuated robotic hands. An important role in grasp analysis, in particular with underactuated hands, is played by system compliance. SynGrasp can model the stiffness at contact points, at the joints or in the actuation system including transmission. A wide set of analytical functions, continuously increasing with new features and capabilities, has been developed to investigate the main grasp properties: controllable forces and object displacement, manipulability analysis, grasp stiffness and different measures of grasp quality. A set of functions for the graphical representation of the hand, the object, and the main analysis results is provided. The toolbox is freely available at http://syngrasp.dii.unisi.it.

Chapter 1 — Robotics and the Handbook

Bruno Siciliano and Oussama Khatib

Robots! Robots on Mars and in oceans, in hospitals and homes, in factories and schools; robots fighting fires, making goods and products, saving time and lives. Robots today are making a considerable impact on many aspects of modern life, from industrial manufacturing to healthcare, transportation, and exploration of the deep space and sea. Tomorrow, robotswill be as pervasive and personal as today’s personal computers. This chapter retraces the evolution of this fascinating field from the ancient to themodern times through a number of milestones: from the first automated mechanical artifact (1400 BC) through the establishment of the robot concept in the 1920s, the realization of the first industrial robots in the 1960s, the definition of robotics science and the birth of an active research community in the 1980s, and the expansion towards the challenges of the human world of the twenty-first century. Robotics in its long journey has inspired this handbook which is organized in three layers: the foundations of robotics science; the consolidated methodologies and technologies of robot design, sensing and perception, manipulation and interfaces, mobile and distributed robotics; the advanced applications of field and service robotics, as well as of human-centered and life-like robotics.

Robots — The journey continues

Author  Bruno Siciliano, Oussama Khatib, Torsten Kröger

Video ID : 812

Following the 2000 history video entitled robots, a 50 year journey (Video ID 805), this new collection brings some of the most influential robots and their applications developed since the turn of the new Millennium (2000 and 2016). The journey continues to illustrate the remarkable acceleration of the robotics field in the new century.

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.

JPL dual-arm telerobot system

Author  Antal K. Bejczy, Zoltan Szakaly

Video ID : 298

This video shows a dual-arm, force-reflecting telerobotic system developed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for space teleoperation applications of kinematically and dynamically different slave systems. Presented at ICRA 1990.