BioRob 2018 Workshop: Novel bioinspired actuator designs for robotics (BioAct)

Through evolution, muscles have been optimized to generate and fine-tune motions. They provide highly versatile force sources, i.e., they have an extremely low impedance (perfectly back-drivable), provide functional damping and low stiction. Although their bandwidth is limited, it is sufficient for even highly dynamic human/animal locomotion. Some biological principles can be applied to robotics, e.g., the addition of compliance to traditional rigid actuators. Elastic actuators can increase safety in human-robot interaction, improve energy efficiency, reduce impacts and augment performance in dynamic tasks. While such actuators have been researched extensively over the past two decades, there are still various open questions. These relate to the fundamental properties mentioned above, but also to their implementation and control as well as the integration of their hard- and software. Elastic actuators have been applied in wearable robotic devices, rehabilitation robots and humanoid robots. In the last years, bio-inspired approaches have brought the capabilities of elastic actuators closer to those of the human muscle, e.g., by introducing redundancy to mimic the muscle fibre recruitment. Another level of redundancy can be achieved by employing mono- and bi-articular actuators to achieve designs with increased robustness and simplified control. We plan to divide the workshop in four sessions comprising three talks of around 20 minutes. At the end of each second session, there will be an extensive discussion (around 45 minutes) between participants and speakers of the two sessions. There will be live demonstrations during the talks and in the subsequent discussion. Besides the invited talks and discussion, the organizers will call for posters to be presented at the workshop.

Overview

The objective of the workshop is to give an overview of the state of the art in bioinspired (e.g., compliant) actuation, discuss the practical implementation of such actuators, and brainstorm how bio-inspiration could bring these actuators and the robots in which they are implemented to new levels of versatility, agility, and energy-efficiency. This workshop is composed of 4 sessions focusing on the following goals:

  • research on biological actuators (what can we learn from biology?)
  • Variable impedance actuators and series/parallel compliance and their relation to biology
  • State of the art of engineered actuators mimicking muscle behaviours
  • Application of the bioinspired actuators in robots and assistive devices.

Organizers:

Maziar Ahmad Sharbafi, University of Tehran, & TU Darmstadt, sharbafi@ut.ac.ir

Tom Verstraten, Vrije Universiteit Brussel tom.verstraten@vub.ac.be

Philipp Beckerle, TU Darmstadt, beckerle@ims.tu-darmstadt.de

Andre Seyfarth, TU Darmstadt, seyfarth@sport.tu-darmstadt.de

Peter P. Pott, Universität Stuttgart peter.pott@imt.uni-stuttgart.de

Practical Info

Date: Sunday 26 August 2018
Timeslot: 9:30 – 17:30
Location: Room Carré 2G, in Enschede, The Netherlands.

Invited Speakers

By clicking on the Session title, more information about the invited speakers and their talk are shown.

Session 1: Recent research on biological actuation – what can we learn from biology?

  1. Christian Rode, Friedrich Scheller Universität Jena
  2. Massimo Sartori, University of Twente
  3. Andre Seyfarth, TU Darmstadt

Session 2: Variable impedance actuators and parallel compliance and their relation to biology

  1. Heike Vallery, TU Delft
  2. Steve Collins, Stanford University
  3. Sami Haddadin, Leibniz Universität Hannover

Session 3: State of the art of engineered actuators approaching muscle behaviours

  1. Joshua Schultz, University of Tulsa
  2. Koh Hosoda, Osaka University
  3. Maziar Sharbafi, TU Darmstadt & Tom Verstraten, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Session 4: Application of bioinspired actuators in robots and assistive devices

  1. Dirk Lefeber, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
  2. Pierre Cherelle, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
  3. Stefano Toxiri, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT)

Call for Poster presentation

Extended abstract (2 pages max) following the IEEE RAS paper template for addressing workshop topics.

An accompanying video is optional and can also be provided as a weblink (e.g., youtube).

All contributions must be sent as a pdf file to sharbafi@sport.tu-darmstadt.de

Accepted contributions will be allocated a spotlight talk at the end of session 2 and a poster presentation.

Important Dates

Submission Deadline: June 30th, 2018

Acceptance Notification: July 15th, 2018

Agenda:

Event Time Invited speaker Title
Registration & coffee 8-9:30
Session 1:
Recent research on biological actuation – what can we learn from biology
9:30-9:50 Christian Rode, Friedrich Scheller Universität Jena Dynamical muscle behaviours
9:50-10:10 Massimo Sartori, University of Twente From spiking motor neurons to joint mechanics:
perspectives for human-machine interaction
10:10-10:30 Andre Seyfarth, TU Darmstadt Resolving redundancies in human motor control at kinematic, motor, and
neural level - biomechanical concepts and applications
Coffee Break 10:30-10:45
Session 2:
Variable impedance actuators and parallel compliance and their relation to biology
10:45-11:05 Heike Vallery, TU Delft Minimalistic design for compliant multi-DOF actuation
11:05-11:25 Steve Collins, Stanford University Lightweight, low-power electroadhesive clutches for biorobotic actuation
11:25-11:45 Sami Haddadin, Leibniz Universität Hannover Elastic actuation in robotics and control
Discussion 11:45-12:30Speakers of Session 1 and 2 Compliant actuators and their relation to biology
Lunch 12:30-14:30
Session 3:
State of the art of engineered actuators approaching muscle behaviours
14:30-14:50 Joshua Schultz, University of Tulsa Muscles are more than just force sources:
examining system dynamics of muscle-like actuators
14:50-15:10 Koh Hosoda, Osaka University Attempts to develop artificial muscles
15:10-15:30 Maziar A. Sharbafi, University of Tehran
Tom Verstraten, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Hybrid actuator and redundancy to mimic biological locomotor actuation
behaviour and improve energy efficiency
Coffee Break 15:30-15:45
Session 4:
Application of bioinspired actuators in robots and assistive devices
15:45-16:05 Dirk Lefeber, Vrije Universiteit Brussel Compliant actuation principles for rehabilitation and assistive robots
16:05-16:25 Pierre Cherelle, Vrije Universiteit Brussel Implementation of explosive compliant actuation in the AMPfoot prosthesis
16:25-16:45 Stefano Toxiri, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) A parallel-elastic actuator for the Robo-Mate back-support exoskeleton
Discussion 16:45-17:30Speakers of Session 3 and 4 Bioinspired actuators and application to assistive devices