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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.

Evolution of cooperative and communicative behaviors

Author  Stefano Nolfi, Joachim De Greeff

Video ID : 117

A group of two e-puck robots are evolved for the capacity to reach and to move back and forth between the two circular areas. The robots are provided with infrared sensors, a camera with which they can perceive the relative position of the other robot, a microphone with which they can sense the sound-signal produced by the other robot, two motors which set the desired speed of the two wheels, and a speaker to emit sound signals. The evolved robots coordinate and cooperate on the basis of an evolved communication system which includes several implicit and explicit signals constituted, respectively, by the relative positions assumed by the robots in the environment as perceived through the robots' cameras and by the sounds with varying frequencies emitted and perceived by the robots through the robots' speakers and microphones.

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.

Modsnake sidewinding

Author  Howie Choset

Video ID : 174

CMU Modsnake sidewinding across rocky terrain

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.

Universal gripper

Author  Cornel Creative Machines Lab

Video ID : 660

Universal robotic gripper based on the jamming of granular material.

Chapter 36 — Motion for Manipulation Tasks

James Kuffner and Jing Xiao

This chapter serves as an introduction to Part D by giving an overview of motion generation and control strategies in the context of robotic manipulation tasks. Automatic control ranging from the abstract, high-level task specification down to fine-grained feedback at the task interface are considered. Some of the important issues include modeling of the interfaces between the robot and the environment at the different time scales of motion and incorporating sensing and feedback. Manipulation planning is introduced as an extension to the basic motion planning problem, which can be modeled as a hybrid system of continuous configuration spaces arising from the act of grasping and moving parts in the environment. The important example of assembly motion is discussed through the analysis of contact states and compliant motion control. Finally, methods aimed at integrating global planning with state feedback control are summarized.

Mesoscale manipulation: System, modeling, planning and control

Author  David J. Cappelleri et al.

Video ID : 359

This video shows an example of peg-in-hole manipulation on the mesoscale. Three robust motion primitives are introduced, i.e., one-point sticking contact with counterclockwise rotation, two-point contact motion without rotation, and robust rotation. These motion primitives are sequentially executed to accomplish the peg-in-hole manipulation task.

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.

Mobile-robot, autonomous navigation in Gracia district, Barcelona

Author  Joan Perez

Video ID : 712

This video demonstrates a fully autonomous navigation solution for mobile robots operating in urban pedestrian areas. Path planning is performed by a graph search on a discretized grid of the workspace. Obstacle avoidance is performed by a slightly modified version of the dynamic-window approach.

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.

ACM-R5H

Author  Shigeo Hirose

Video ID : 397

The ACM-R5H is a snake robot that can go where no human can go. It is designed to perform underwater inspections and search-and-rescue missions in hazardous environments. It is a snake-like robot with extra dust sealing, waterproofing and a rigid structure that allows operation under any severe condition. It is composed of several modules with small passive wheels that allow the robot to move smoothly on surfaces. ACM-R5 can also move sinuously in underwater environments. In the front unit, a wireless camera is mounted on a special mechanism that keeps the view orientation always horizontal. ACM-R5H is ideal for inspection and search operations in underwater environments.

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.

Cybernetic human HRP-4C quick turn

Author  AIST

Video ID : 525

Quick slip-turn of an HRP-4C on its toes developed by Dr. Miura, Dr. Kanehiro, Dr. Kaneko, Dr. Kajita, and Dr. Yokoi.

Chapter 62 — Intelligent Vehicles

Alberto Broggi, Alex Zelinsky, Ümit Özgüner and Christian Laugier

This chapter describes the emerging robotics application field of intelligent vehicles – motor vehicles that have autonomous functions and capabilities. The chapter is organized as follows. Section 62.1 provides a motivation for why the development of intelligent vehicles is important, a brief history of the field, and the potential benefits of the technology. Section 62.2 describes the technologies that enable intelligent vehicles to sense vehicle, environment, and driver state, work with digital maps and satellite navigation, and communicate with intelligent transportation infrastructure. Section 62.3 describes the challenges and solutions associated with road scene understanding – a key capability for all intelligent vehicles. Section 62.4 describes advanced driver assistance systems, which use the robotics and sensing technologies described earlier to create new safety and convenience systems for motor vehicles, such as collision avoidance, lane keeping, and parking assistance. Section 62.5 describes driver monitoring technologies that are being developed to mitigate driver fatigue, inattention, and impairment. Section 62.6 describes fully autonomous intelligent vehicles systems that have been developed and deployed. The chapter is concluded in Sect. 62.7 with a discussion of future prospects, while Sect. 62.8 provides references to further reading and additional resources.

Motion prediction using the Bayesian-occupancy-filter approach (Inria)

Author  Christian Laugier, E-Motion Team

Video ID : 420

This video illustrates the prediction capabilities of the Bayesian-occupancy-filter approach which is able to maintain an updated record and estimate of the relatives positions and velocities of an autonomous vehicle and of a detected-and-tracked moving obstacle (e.g., a pedestrian in the video). The approach still works despite temporary obstructions. The method has been patented in, and commercialized since, 2005. More details in [62.60].

Chapter 36 — Motion for Manipulation Tasks

James Kuffner and Jing Xiao

This chapter serves as an introduction to Part D by giving an overview of motion generation and control strategies in the context of robotic manipulation tasks. Automatic control ranging from the abstract, high-level task specification down to fine-grained feedback at the task interface are considered. Some of the important issues include modeling of the interfaces between the robot and the environment at the different time scales of motion and incorporating sensing and feedback. Manipulation planning is introduced as an extension to the basic motion planning problem, which can be modeled as a hybrid system of continuous configuration spaces arising from the act of grasping and moving parts in the environment. The important example of assembly motion is discussed through the analysis of contact states and compliant motion control. Finally, methods aimed at integrating global planning with state feedback control are summarized.

Demonstration of multisensor integration in industrial manipulation

Author  Torsten Kröger et al.

Video ID : 361

This video demonstrates the potential of multisensor integration in industrial manipulation. A robot is programmed to play the Jenga game. Two cameras are mounted on the manipulator to calculate the positions of all cuboids online. A 6-DOF force/torque sensor and a 6-DOF acceleration sensor are mounted between a hand and gripper to give force/tactile feedback. The manipulator randomly chooses one block and tries to push it out and then put it on the top of the tower. In this video, a record of putting 29 blocks onto the top of the tower is achieved.

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.

Side-looking multipulse sonar moving down cinder-block hallway

Author  Roman Kuc

Video ID : 303

Rather than producing a single TOF reading per emission, the multipulse sonar produces multiple spikes by quickly resetting the sonar-detector integrator, thereby producing a spike density related to the echo amplitude. A side-looking sonar scans a cinder-block wall containing a door and window jambs. The resulting spikes have been processed to differentiate the first cinder-block wall, the cider-block surface and localize the window and door jambs. The red circles indicate the initial TOF values and illustrate the additional echo waveform data produced by the multipulse sonar. Reference: R. Kuc: Recognizing retro-reflectors with an obliquely-oriented multi-point sonar and acoustic flow, Int. J. Robot. Res. 22(2), 129-145, (2003); doi:10.1177/0278364903022002004.