|Commenced in January 2007||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 32|
Wearable robotics is a potential solution in aiding gait rehabilitation of lower limbs dyskinesia patients, such as knee osteoarthritis or stroke afflicted patients. Many wearable robots have been developed in the form of rigid exoskeletons, but their bulk devices, high cost and control complexity hinder their popularity in the field of gait rehabilitation. Thus, the development of a portable, compliant and low-cost wearable robot for gait rehabilitation is necessary. Inspired by Chinese traditional folding fans and balloon inflators, the authors present an inflatable, foldable and variable stiffness knee exosuit (IFVSKE) in this paper. The pneumatic actuator of IFVSKE was fabricated in the shape of folding fans by using thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) fabric materials. The geometric and mechanical properties of IFVSKE were characterized with experimental methods. To assist the knee joint smartly, an intelligent control profile for IFVSKE was proposed based on the concept of full-cycle energy management of the biomechanical energy during human movement. The biomechanical energy of knee joints in a walking gait cycle of patients could be collected and released to assist the joint motion just by adjusting the inner pressure of IFVSKE. Finally, a healthy subject was involved to walk with and without the IFVSKE to evaluate the assisting effects.
With this contribution, we want to show a successful example of the application of the Design Thinking methodology, in the European project 'Technology transfer of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) for the creative industry'. The use of this methodology has allowed us to design and build a drone, based on the real needs of prospective users. It has demonstrated that this is a powerful tool for generating innovative ideas in the field of robotics, by focusing its effectiveness on understanding and solving real user needs. In this way, with the support of an interdisciplinary team, comprised of creatives, engineers and economists, together with the collaboration of prospective users from three European countries, a non-linear work dynamic has been created. This teamwork has generated a sense of appreciation towards the creative industries, through continuously adaptive, inventive, and playful collaboration and communication, which has facilitated the development of prototypes. These have been designed to enable filming and photography in interior spaces, within 13 sectors of European creative industries: Advertising, Architecture, Fashion, Film, Antiques and Museums, Music, Photography, Televison, Performing Arts, Publishing, Arts and Crafts, Design and Software. Furthermore, it has married the real needs of the creative industries, with what is technologically and commercially viable. As a result, a product of great value has been obtained, which offers new business opportunities for small companies across this sector.
Socially assistive robotic has become increasingly active and it is present in therapies of people affected for several neurobehavioral conditions, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). In fact, robots have played a significant role for positive interaction with children with ASD, by stimulating their social and cognitive skills. This work introduces a mobile socially-assistive robot, which was built for interaction with children with ASD, using non-linear control techniques for this interaction.
The paper describes conceptual design, control strategies, and partial simulation for a new fully autonomous lower limb wearable exoskeleton system for human motion enhancement that can support its weight and increase strength and endurance. Various problems still remain to be solved where the most important is the creation of a power and cost efficient system that will allow an exoskeleton to operate for extended period without batteries being frequently recharged. The designed exoskeleton is enabling to decouple the weight/mass carrying function of the system from the forward motion function which reduces the power and size of propulsion motors and thus the overall weight, cost of the system. The decoupling takes place by blocking the motion at knee joint by placing passive air cylinder across the joint. The cylinder is actuated when the knee angle has reached the minimum allowed value to bend. The value of the minimum bending angle depends on usual walk style of the subject. The mechanism of the exoskeleton features a seat to rest the subject’s body weight at the moment of blocking the knee joint motion. The mechanical structure of each leg has six degrees of freedom: four at the hip, one at the knee, and one at the ankle. Exoskeleton legs are attached to subject legs by using flexible cuffs. The operation of all actuators depends on the amount of pressure felt by the feet pressure sensors and knee angle sensor. The sensor readings depend on actual posture of the subject and can be classified in three distinct cases: subject stands on one leg, subject stands still on both legs and subject stands on both legs but transit its weight from one leg to other. This exoskeleton is power efficient because electrical motors are smaller in size and did not participate in supporting the weight like in all other existing exoskeleton designs.
The paper focus on robotic telepresence system build around humanoid robot operated with controller-less Wizard of Oz technique. Proposed solution gives possibility to quick start acting as a operator with short, if any, initial training.
A method which allows a diabetic quadriplegic patient that has had four limb amputations (above the knee and elbow) to self-administer injections of insulin has been designed. The aim of this research project is to improve a quadriplegic patient’s selfmanagement, affected by diabetes, by designing a suitable device for self-administering insulin. The quadriplegic patient affected by diabetes has to be able to selfadminister insulin safely and independently to guarantee stable healthy conditions. The device also should be designed to adapt to a number of different varying personal characteristics such as height and body weight.
Embedding Sustainability in technological curricula has become a crucial factor for educating engineers with competences in sustainability. The Technical University of Catalonia UPC, in 2008, designed the Sustainable Technology Excellence Program STEP 2015 in order to assure a successful Sustainability Embedding. This Program takes advantage of the opportunity that the redesign of all Bachelor and Master Degrees in Spain by 2010 under the European Higher Education Area framework offered. The STEP program goals are: to design compulsory courses in each degree; to develop the conceptual base and identify reference models in sustainability for all specialties at UPC; to create an internal interdisciplinary network of faculty from all the schools; to initiate new transdisciplinary research activities in technology-sustainability-education; to spread the know/how attained; to achieve international scientific excellence in technology-sustainability-education and to graduate the first engineers/architects of the new EHEA bachelors with sustainability as a generic competence. Specifically, in this paper authors explain their experience in leading the STEP program, and two examples are presented: Industrial Robotics subject and the curriculum for the School of Architecture.
The whole work is based on possibility to use Lego Mindstorms robotics systems to reduce costs. Lego Mindstorms consists of a wide variety of hardware components necessary to simulate, programme and test of robotics systems in practice. To programme algorithm, which simulates space using the ultrasonic sensor, was used development environment supplied with kit. Software Matlab was used to render values afterwards they were measured by ultrasonic sensor. The algorithm created for this paper uses theoretical knowledge from area of signal processing. Data being processed by algorithm are collected by ultrasonic sensor that scans 2D space in front of it. Ultrasonic sensor is placed on moving arm of robot which provides horizontal moving of sensor. Vertical movement of sensor is provided by wheel drive. The robot follows map in order to get correct positioning of measured data. Based on discovered facts it is possible to consider Lego Mindstorm for low-cost and capable kit for real-time modelling.
In this paper we deal with using Lego Mindstorms in simulation of robotic systems with respect to cost reduction. Lego Mindstorms kit contains broad variety of hardware components which are required to simulate, program and test the robotics systems in practice. Algorithm programming went in development environment supplied together with Lego kit as in programming language C# as well. Algorithm following the line, which we dealt with in this paper, uses theoretical findings from area of controlling circuits. PID controller has been chosen as controlling circuit whose individual components were experimentally adjusted for optimal motion of robot tracking the line. Data which are determined to process by algorithm are collected by sensors which scan the interface between black and white surfaces followed by robot. Based on discovered facts Lego Mindstorms can be considered for low-cost and capable kit to simulate real robotics systems.
The Ambidextrous Robot Hand is a robotic device with the purpose to mimic either the gestures of a right or a left hand. The symmetrical behavior of its fingers allows them to bend in one way or another keeping a compliant and anthropomorphic shape. However, in addition to gestures they can reproduce on both sides, an asymmetrical mechanical design with a three tendons routing has been engineered to reduce the number of actuators. As a consequence, control algorithms must be adapted to drive efficiently the ambidextrous fingers from one position to another and to include grasping features. These movements are controlled by pneumatic muscles, which are nonlinear actuators. As their elasticity constantly varies when they are under actuation, the length of pneumatic muscles and the force they provide may differ for a same value of pressurized air. The control algorithms introduced in this paper take both the fingers asymmetrical design and the pneumatic muscles nonlinearity into account to permit an accurate control of the Ambidextrous Robot Hand. The finger motion is achieved by combining a classic PID controller with a phase plane switching control that turns the gain constants into dynamic values. The grasping ability is made possible because of a sliding mode control that makes the fingers adapt to the shape of an object before strengthening their positions.
Image processing in today’s world grabs massive attentions as it leads to possibilities of broaden application in many fields of high technology. The real challenge is how to improve existing sorting system applications which consists of two integrated stations of processing and handling with a new image processing feature. Existing color sorting techniques use a set of inductive, capacitive, and optical sensors to differentiate object color. This research presents a mechatronic color sorting system solution with the application of image processing. A 5-DOF robot arm is designed and developed with pick and place operation to act as the main part of the color sorting system. Image processing procedure senses the circular objects in an image captured in real time by a webcam fixed at the end-effector then extracts color and position information out of it. This information is passed as a sequence of sorting commands to the manipulator that has pick-and-place mechanism. Performance analysis proves that this color based object sorting system works accurately under ideal condition in term of adequate illumination, circular objects shape and color. The circular objects tested for sorting are red, green and blue. For non-ideal condition, such as unspecified color the accuracy reduces to 80%.
A sophisticated simulator provides a cost-effective measure to carry out preliminary mission testing and diagnostic while reducing potential failures for real life at sea trials. The presented simulation framework covers three key areas: AUV modeling, sensor modeling, and environment modeling. AUV modeling mainly covers the area of AUV dynamics. Sensor modeling deals with physics and mathematical models that govern each sensor installed onto the AUV. Environment model incorporates the hydrostatic, hydrodynamics, and ocean currents that will affect the AUV in a real-time mission. Based on this designed simulation framework, custom scenarios provided by the user can be modeled and its corresponding behaviors can be observed. This paper focuses on the accuracy of the simulated data from AUV model and environmental model derived from a developed AUV test-bed which was jointly upgraded by DSTO and the University of Adelaide. The main contribution of this paper is to experimentally verify the accuracy of the proposed simulation framework.
In this paper, the bio-mechanical analysis of human joints is carried out and the study is extended to the robot manipulator. This study will first focus on the kinematics of human arm which include the movement of each joint in shoulder, wrist, elbow and finger complexes. Those analyses are then extended to the design of a human robot manipulator. A simulator is built for Direct Kinematics and Inverse Kinematics of human arm. In the simulation of Direct Kinematics, the human joint angles can be inserted, while the position and orientation of each finger tips (end-effector) are shown. Inverse Kinematics does the reverse of the Direct Kinematics. Based on previous materials obtained from kinematics analysis, the human manipulator joints can be designed to follow prescribed position trajectories.
This article presents a simple way to perform programmed voice commands for the interface with commercial Digital and Analogue Input/Output PCI cards, used in Robotics and Automation applications. Robots and Automation equipment can "listen" to voice commands and perform several different tasks, approaching to the human behavior, and improving the human- machine interfaces for the Automation Industry. Since most PCI Digital and Analogue Input/Output cards are sold with several DLLs included (for use with different programming languages), it is possible to add speech recognition capability, using a standard speech recognition engine, compatible with the programming languages used. It was created in this work a Visual Basic 6 (the world's most popular language) application, that listens to several voice commands, and is capable to communicate directly with several standard 128 Digital I/O PCI Cards, used to control complete Automation Systems, with up to (number of boards used) x 128 Sensors and/or Actuators.