Dexterous, soft and compliant robotics in manufacturing

Dexterous, soft and compliant robotics in manufacturing

Flexible automation is one of the major benefits of robots. By contrast grippers and end effectors used with robots are generally only able to grasp a single or small selection of parts. Often the end effectors must be changed if the robot is to perform a new task. For this reason there has been extensive interest in the development of dexterous robot hands. Although the existing examples exhibit high levels of dexterity, so far they are not sufficiently robust for use in industrial applications. This topic area will address issues in development of end-effectors focusing on novel mechanical design that promotes a new softer, more compliant philosophy.  This will require research in mechanism design, actuation, control, sensing  and cognition and this will form key research targets.

SMART-E research projects in this work package are:

  • Low cost and robust dexterous end effectors
    Fellow: Saber Mahboubi-Heydarabad
    Host: University of Salford, Lead supervisor: Dr. Steve Davis
  • Octopus based technologies for manipulation in manufacturing
    Fellow: Yasmin Ansari
    Host: SSSA, Lead supervisor: Prof. Cecilia Laschi
  • Robot manipulators for safer pHRI
    Fellow: Constantin Neacsu
    Host: IIT, Lead supervisor: Prof. Darwin Caldwell
  • Soft robotics and morphological computation
    Fellow: Syed Taimoor Hassan Shah 
    Host: SSSA, Lead supervisor: Prof. Paolo Dario
  • Morphological computation based control of soft robotic structures
    Fellow: Martin Eder
    Host: University of Zurich, Lead supervisor: Prof. Rolf Pfeifer
  • Soft robotic gripper for industrial manufacturing
    Host: SSSA, Lead supervisor: Prof. Cecilia Laschi