Frontiers in Bionic and Flexible Robotics

A special issue of Robotics (ISSN 2218-6581). This special issue belongs to the section "Soft Robotics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 December 2022) | Viewed by 13116

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Biomedical Technologies Division, University of Texas at Arlington, Fort Worth, TX, USA
Interests: soft actuators; soft robotic rehabilitation devices; wearable robotics; flexible actuators; kinematics; computational simulations

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Bionic and flexible robotics is an emerging subfield of traditional robotics inspired by biological creatures and activities. This field is becoming more popular because of its several advantages: safe human–machine interaction, working in inaccessible spaces, adaptability to wearable devices, handling delicate objects, etc. As of now, we have come to understand that bionic and flexible robotics offers an exceptional solution for any kind of application that involves intimate human contact (e.g., exoskeletons, prosthetics, surgery, rehabilitation). It is a very young research area with many possibilities to solve optimal shape, modeling, and control issues in flexible robots due to their inherent hyper-redundancy.

The Special Issue aims to publish research papers with theoretical and application-based contributions focusing on novel designs, optimal shape estimation, kinematic modeling, control, soft actuators, analysis, simulations, and experiments for bionic and flexible robots. Review papers are also welcome so that we may provide a comprehensive view of this field.

Dr. Inderjeet Singh
Prof. Dr. Paolo Mercorelli
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. Robotics 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.

Keywords

  • bionics
  • soft actuators
  • rehabilitation
  • mathematical modeling
  • soft robotics
  • flexible robots
  • kinematics
  • shape estimation
  • control
  • dynamics

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

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16 pages, 6286 KiB  
Article
Design of a Lightweight and Deployable Soft Robotic Arm
by Pierpaolo Palmieri, Matteo Melchiorre and Stefano Mauro
Robotics 2022, 11(5), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics11050088 - 31 Aug 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 5858
Abstract
Soft robotics represents a rising trend in recent years, due to the ability to work in unstructured environments or in strict contact with humans. Introducing soft parts, robots can adapt to various contexts overcoming limits relative to the rigid structure of traditional ones. [...] Read more.
Soft robotics represents a rising trend in recent years, due to the ability to work in unstructured environments or in strict contact with humans. Introducing soft parts, robots can adapt to various contexts overcoming limits relative to the rigid structure of traditional ones. Main issues of soft robotics systems concern the relatively low force exertion and control complexity. Moreover, several fields of application, as space industry, need to develop novel lightweight and deployable robotic systems, that can be stored into a relatively small volume and deployed when required. In this paper, POPUP robot is introduced: a soft manipulator having inflatable links and rigid joints. Its hybrid structure aims to match the advantages of rigid robots and the useful properties of having a lightweight and deployable parts, ensuring simple control, low energy consumption and low compressed gas requirement. The first robot prototype and the system architecture are described highlighting design criteria and effect of internal pressure on the performances. A pseudo-rigid body model is used to describe the behavior of inflatable links looking forward to control design. Finally, the model is extended to the whole robot: multi-body simulations are performed to highlight the importance of suitable sensor equipment for control development, proposing a visual servoing solution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers in Bionic and Flexible Robotics)
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Review

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42 pages, 6099 KiB  
Review
Gecko-Inspired Adhesive Mechanisms and Adhesives for Robots—A Review
by Soumya Sikdar, Md Hafizur Rahman, Arpith Siddaiah and Pradeep L. Menezes
Robotics 2022, 11(6), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics11060143 - 4 Dec 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 6310
Abstract
Small living organisms such as lizards possess naturally built functional surface textures that enable them to walk or climb on versatile surface topographies. Bio-mimicking the surface characteristics of these geckos has enormous potential to improve the accessibility of modern robotics. Therefore, gecko-inspired adhesives [...] Read more.
Small living organisms such as lizards possess naturally built functional surface textures that enable them to walk or climb on versatile surface topographies. Bio-mimicking the surface characteristics of these geckos has enormous potential to improve the accessibility of modern robotics. Therefore, gecko-inspired adhesives have significant industrial applications, including robotic endoscopy, bio-medical cleaning, medical bandage tapes, rock climbing adhesives, tissue adhesives, etc. As a result, synthetic adhesives have been developed by researchers, in addition to dry fibrillary adhesives, elastomeric adhesives, electrostatic adhesives, and thermoplastic adhesives. All these adhesives represent significant contributions towards robotic grippers and gloves, depending on the nature of the application. However, these adhesives often exhibit limitations in the form of fouling, wear, and tear, which restrict their functionalities and load-carrying capabilities in the natural environment. Therefore, it is essential to summarize the state of the art attributes of contemporary studies to extend the ongoing work in this field. This review summarizes different adhesion mechanisms involving gecko-inspired adhesives and attempts to explain the parameters and limitations which have impacts on adhesion. Additionally, different novel adhesive fabrication techniques such as replica molding, 3D direct laser writing, dip transfer processing, fused deposition modeling, and digital light processing are encapsulated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers in Bionic and Flexible Robotics)
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