Robotics2016, 5(3), 12; doi:10.3390/robotics5030012 (registering DOI) - published 24 June 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This paper presents a robot design competition called ‘IDC Robocon’ as an effective tool for engineering education. The International Design Contest (IDC) Robocon competition has several benefits in creating a meaningful design experience for undergraduate engineering students and includes an international flavour as participants of the competition hail from all around the world. The problem posed to the contestants is to design, build and test mobile robots that are capable of accomplishing a task. A primary goal of the competition is to provide undergraduates with a meaningful design experience with an emphasis on mechanical design, electronic circuits and programming. It is hoped that by placing the emphasis on the design, the course will encourage more undergraduates to go into the field of engineering design. This paper presents the latest 2015 IDC Robocon (the 26th edition) in detail and discusses course of events and results in terms of the educational experience. In this competition, a simulated space problem of cleaning the debris from orbit is proposed for the latest IDC Robocon competition. Teams, comprising of students from multiple countries work together to develop robotic systems to compete with each other in collecting the foam balls and delivering them to the rotating the holder.
Abstract: In this paper, we present a recent survey on robotic grippers. In many cases, modern grippers outperform their older counterparts which are now stronger, more repeatable, and faster. Technological advancements have also attributed to the development of gripping various objects. This includes soft fabrics, microelectromechanical systems, and synthetic sheets. In addition, newer materials are being used to improve functionality of grippers, which include piezoelectric, shape memory alloys, smart fluids, carbon fiber, and many more. This paper covers the very first robotic gripper to the newest developments in grasping methods. Unlike other survey papers, we focus on the applications of robotic grippers in industrial, medical, for fragile objects and soft fabrics grippers. We report on new advancements on grasping mechanisms and discuss their behavior for different purposes. Finally, we present the future trends of grippers in terms of flexibility and performance and their vital applications in emerging areas of robotic surgery, industrial assembly, space exploration, and micromanipulation. These advancements will provide a future outlook on the new trends in robotic grippers.
Abstract: This paper discusses a strategy by which a robotic hand can use the physical properties of a fabric to pinch the fabric. Pinching may be accomplished by using a wiping motion, during which the movement and deformation of a deformable object occur simultaneously. The wiping motion differs from the displacement of a deformable object. During the wiping motion, there is contact, but no relative movement, between the manipulator and the object, whereas, during displacement, there is both contact and relative movement between the object and the floor. This paper first describes wiping motion and distinguishes wiping slide from wiping deformation by displacement of the internal points of an object. Wiping motion is also shown to be an extended scheme of pushing and sliding of rigid objects. Our strategy for pinching a fabric is accomplished with a combination of wiping deformation and residual deformation of the fabric under unloaded conditions. Using this strategy, a single-armed robotic hand can pinch both surfaces of the fabric without handover motion.
Abstract: Vibration measurement for flexible structures is widely used in various kinds of precision engineering fields. However, it is a challenge to measure vibration in special applications, such as cryogenic, dangerous and magnetic interference. In this paper, a high-precision vibration measurement system based on machine vision is designed. The circle center on the target is employed as the image feature. The circle feature is extracted using the improved algorithm based on gradient Hough transform. Then the image Jacobian matrix is used to compute the vibrations in Cartesian space from the image feature changes. Experiments verify the effectiveness of the proposed methods.
Abstract: The traditional environment maps built by mobile robots include both metric ones and topological ones. These maps are navigation-oriented and not adequate for service robots to interact with or serve human users who normally rely on the conceptual knowledge or semantic contents of the environment. Therefore, the construction of semantic maps becomes necessary for building an effective human-robot interface for service robots. This paper reviews recent research and development in the field of visual-based semantic mapping. The main focus is placed on how to extract semantic information from visual data in terms of feature extraction, object/place recognition and semantic representation methods.
Abstract: The excellent compliance and large range of motion of soft actuators controlled by fluid pressure has lead to strong interest in applying devices of this type for biomimetic and human-robot interaction applications. However, in contrast to soft actuators fabricated from stretchable silicone materials, conventional technologies for position sensing are typically rigid or bulky and are not ideal for integration into soft robotic devices. Therefore, in order to facilitate the use of soft pneumatic actuators in applications where position sensing or closed loop control is required, a soft pneumatic bending actuator with an integrated carbon nanotube position sensor has been developed. The integrated carbon nanotube position sensor presented in this work is flexible and well suited to measuring the large displacements frequently encountered in soft robotics. The sensor is produced by a simple soft lithography process during the fabrication of the soft pneumatic actuator, with a greater than 30% resistance change between the relaxed state and the maximum displacement position. It is anticipated that integrated resistive position sensors using a similar design will be useful in a wide range of soft robotic systems.