Special Issue "Actuation for Agile Robots"

A special issue of Actuators (ISSN 2076-0825).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2018) | Viewed by 7929

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Navvab Kashiri
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Humanoids & Human Centred Mechatronics, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT), Genoa, Italy
Interests: compliant actuators; variable impedance mechanisms; force/torque sensors; dynamics and control; mechatronics; automation and robotics
Dr. Jörn Malzahn
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Humanoids & Human Centred Mechatronics Lab, Department of Advanced Robotics, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT), Genoa, Italy
Interests: efficient actuation principles; optimal actuation design; optimal, predictive and energy based control

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The improvements in the design and control of robotic systems achieved over the past few decades in terms of software/hardware development, result in the rapid functioning of robots in designed and structured environments, e.g., in industry. In contrast, the manipulation/locomotion agility of even the most dynamic robots, when operating in unstructured environments, is still many times lower than that of most biological systems, e.g., humans and animals. Such a deficiency results in the slow performance of robotic platforms in real-world scenarios, ranging from disaster-response cases to health-care and service tasks. It consequently leads to failure in fulfilling tasks, as it is often crucial for the robot to quickly respond/react to external interactions and disturbances. The progress in robot agility can, therefore, considerably influence the viable exploitation of robotics in all real-world applications demanding responsiveness and agility. To this end, it is necessary to utilize novel design and control approaches. The focus of this Special Issue is on the state-of-the-art of interdisciplinary topics required for novel actuator design and control, to allow for the development of agile robotic systems capable of executing dynamic motions and quickly responding to external/internal state changes.

Dr. Navvab Kashiri
Dr. Jörn Malzahn
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Actuators is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • novel drive topologies
  • bi-/multi-articulated drives
  • actuator transmission design
  • variable impedance actuators
  • passive parallel/series compliance
  • motor controllers/drivers
  • motor cooling systems
  • actuator thermal management
  • motor flux tuning
  • actuator motion/effort control

Published Papers (1 paper)

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On-Board Pneumatic Pressure Generation Methods for Soft Robotics Applications
Actuators 2019, 8(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/act8010002 - 23 Dec 2018
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 7588
The design and construction of a soft robot are challenging tasks on their own. When the robot is supposed to operate without a tether, it becomes even more demanding. While a tethered operation is sufficient for a stationary use, it is impractical for [...] Read more.
The design and construction of a soft robot are challenging tasks on their own. When the robot is supposed to operate without a tether, it becomes even more demanding. While a tethered operation is sufficient for a stationary use, it is impractical for wearable robots or performing tasks that demand a high mobility. Choosing and implementing an on-board pneumatic pressure source are particularly complex tasks. There are several different pressure generation methods to choose from, each with very different properties and ways of implementation. This review paper is written with the intention of informing about all pressure generation methods available in the field of soft robotics and providing an overview of the abilities and properties of each method. Nine different methods are described regarding their working principle, pressure generation behavior, energetic considerations, safety aspects, and suitability for soft robotics applications. All presented methods are evaluated in the most important categories for soft robotics pressure sources and compared to each other qualitatively and quantitatively as far as possible. The aim of the results presented is to simplify the choice of a suitable pressure generation method when designing an on-board pressure source for a soft robot. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Actuation for Agile Robots)
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