Special Issue "Advances in European Robotics"

A special issue of Robotics (ISSN 2218-6581).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Med Amine Laribi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department GMSC, Institut PPRIME, CNRS, Université de Poitiers, ENSMA, UPR 3346, 86962 Poitiers, France
Interests: mechanical design; robotics; synthesis of mechanism; parallel robots; medical robot; safety
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Juan Sebastián Sandoval Arévalo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of GMSC, Pprime Institute, CNRS, ENSMA, University of Poitiers, Poitiers, France
Interests: mechanical design; robotics; modeling and simulation; control theory

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Robotics is the intersection of science, engineering, and technology that produces machines, called robots, that substitute or replicate human actions. The robotics industry is still relatively young, but has already made amazing strides. From the deepest depths of our oceans to the highest heights of outer space, robots can be found performing tasks that humans could not dream of achieving.

Robotics technology influences every aspect of work and home. Robotics has the potential to positively transform lives and work practices, raise efficiency and safety levels, and provide enhanced levels of service.

This Special Issue aims at disseminating the latest research achievements, findings, and ideas in the robotics field, with particular attention to the latest European activities in robotics. This Issue will include revised and substantially extended versions of selected papers that were presented at the 29th International Conference on Robotics in Alpe-Adria-Danube Region (RAAD2020) sponsored by IFToMM. However, we are also strongly encouraging the submission of additional contributions from researchers working in this field who did not participate to the RAAD2020 Conference, in order to further enlarge the field coverage.

Papers are welcome on all major areas of R&D and innovation in robotics, including new research trends such as: bio-inspired and cognitive robots, visual servoing of robot motion, human–robot interaction, cloud robotics, and personal robots for ambient assisted living. The solicited topics are related to new theories, advanced design of robot mechanics and control architectures, and the development of intelligent robotic applications, including but not limited to:

  • Novel design and applications of robotic systems;
  • Dexterous grasping, handling and intelligent manipulation;
  • Intelligent cooperating and service robots;
  • Advanced robot control;
  • Human–robot interfaces;
  • Robot vision systems and visual servoing techniques;
  • Mobile robots;
  • Humanoid and walking robots;
  • Bio-inspired and swarm robotic systems;
  • Towards micro and nano-scale robots;
  • Aerial, underwater, and spatial robots;
  • Robot integration in holonic manufacturing;
  • Personal robots for ambient assisted living;
  • Medical robots and bionic prostheses;
  • Intelligent information technologies for cognitive robots;
  • Education in robotics;
  • History of automation and robotics;
  • Cognitive robots and emotional intelligence;
  • Cloud robotics;
  • Ethical, legal, and social issues of robotics.

Prof. Dr. Med Amine Laribi
Prof. Dr. Juan Sebastián Sandoval Arévalo
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 papers will be 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 quarterly 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 1400 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.

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Article
Balancing of the Orthoglide Taking into Account Its Varying Payload
Robotics 2021, 10(1), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics10010030 - 06 Feb 2021
Viewed by 1917
Abstract
For fast-moving robot systems, the fluctuating dynamic loads transmitted to the supporting frame can excite the base and cause noise, wear, and fatigue of mechanical components. By reducing the shaking force completely, the dynamic characteristics of the robot system can be improved. However, [...] Read more.
For fast-moving robot systems, the fluctuating dynamic loads transmitted to the supporting frame can excite the base and cause noise, wear, and fatigue of mechanical components. By reducing the shaking force completely, the dynamic characteristics of the robot system can be improved. However, the complete inertial force and inertial moment balancing can only be achieved by adding extra counterweight and counter-rotation systems, which largely increase the total mass, overall size, and complexity of robots. In order to avoid these inconveniences, an approach based on the optimal motion control of the center of mass is applied for the shaking force balancing of the robot Orthoglide. The application of the “bang–bang” motion profile on the common center of mass allows a considerable reduction of the acceleration of the total mass center, which results in the reduction of the shaking force. With the proposed method, the shaking force balancing of the Orthoglide is carried out, taking into account the varying payload. Note that such a solution by purely mechanical methods is complex and practically inapplicable for industrial robots. The simulations in ADAMS software validate the efficiency of the suggested approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in European Robotics)
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Article
An Experimental Characterization of TORVEastro, Cable-Driven Astronaut Robot
Robotics 2021, 10(1), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics10010021 - 22 Jan 2021
Viewed by 1837
Abstract
TORVEastro robot design is presented with a built prototype in LARM2 (Laboratory of Robot Mechatronics) for testing and characterizing its functionality for service in space stations. Several robot astronauts are designed with bulky human-like structures that cannot be convenient for outdoor space service [...] Read more.
TORVEastro robot design is presented with a built prototype in LARM2 (Laboratory of Robot Mechatronics) for testing and characterizing its functionality for service in space stations. Several robot astronauts are designed with bulky human-like structures that cannot be convenient for outdoor space service in monitoring and maintenance of the external structures of orbital stations. The design features of TORVEastro robot are discussed with its peculiar mechanical design with 3 arm-legs as agile service robot astronaut. A lab prototype is used to test the operation performance and the feasibility of its peculiar design. The robot weighs 1 kg, and consists of a central torso, three identical three-degree of freedom (DoF) arm–legs and one vision system. Test results are reported to discuss the operation efficiency in terms of motion characteristics and power consumption during lab experiments that nevertheless show the feasibility of the robot for outdoor space applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in European Robotics)
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Article
An Architecture for Safe Child–Robot Interactions in Autism Interventions
Robotics 2021, 10(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics10010020 - 21 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2104
Abstract
Autism Spectrum Disorder is a developmental disorder that affects children from a very young age and is characterized by persistent deficits in social, communicational, and behavioral abilities. Since there is no cure for autism, domain experts focus on aiding these children through specific [...] Read more.
Autism Spectrum Disorder is a developmental disorder that affects children from a very young age and is characterized by persistent deficits in social, communicational, and behavioral abilities. Since there is no cure for autism, domain experts focus on aiding these children through specific intervention plans that are aimed towards the development of the deficient areas. Using socially assistive robots that interact in a social manner with children in autism interventions, efforts are being made towards alleviating the autistic behavior of children and enhancing their social behavior. However, implementing robots in autism interventions could lead to harmful situations concerning safety. In this paper, an architecture for safe child–robot interactions in autism interventions is proposed. First, a taxonomy of child–robot interactions in autism interventions is presented, explaining its complete framework. Next, the interaction is modelled according to this taxonomy where an interaction case is employed in order for the structure of the interaction to be defined. Based on that, the safety architecture is proposed that will be integrated into the robot’s controller. Focus is placed on detecting possible distracting elements that could influence the performance of the child, affecting their psychological or physical safety. Lastly, the interaction between child and robot is created in a simulated environment through dialogue inputs and outputs, and the code of the architecture is tested, where a virtual robot performs the appropriate actions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in European Robotics)
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Article
Design of a Mechanism with Embedded Suspension to Reconfigure the Agri_q Locomotion Layout
Robotics 2021, 10(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics10010015 - 13 Jan 2021
Viewed by 1856
Abstract
The Agri_q is an electric unmanned ground vehicle specifically designed for precision agriculture applications. Since it is expected to traverse on unstructured terrain, especially uneven terrain, or to climb obstacles or slopes, an eight-wheeled locomotion layout, with each pair of wheels supported by [...] Read more.
The Agri_q is an electric unmanned ground vehicle specifically designed for precision agriculture applications. Since it is expected to traverse on unstructured terrain, especially uneven terrain, or to climb obstacles or slopes, an eight-wheeled locomotion layout, with each pair of wheels supported by a bogie, has been chosen. The wide contact surface between the vehicle and the ground ensures a convenient weight distribution; furthermore, the bogie acts like a filter with respect to ground irregularities, reducing the transmissibility of the oscillations. Nevertheless, this locomotion layout entails a substantial lateral slithering along curved trajectories, which results in an increase of the needed driving torque. Therefore, reducing the number of ground contact points to compare the torque adsorption in different configurations, namely four, six, or eight wheels, could be of interest. This paper presents a reconfiguration mechanism able to modify the Agri_q locomotion layout by lifting one of the two wheels carried by the bogie and to activate, at the same time, a suspension device. The kinematic synthesis of the mechanism and the dynamic characteristics of the Agri_q suspended front module are presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in European Robotics)
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Article
Design of a Five-Degrees of Freedom Statically Balanced Mechanism with Multi-Directional Functionality
Robotics 2021, 10(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics10010011 - 04 Jan 2021
Viewed by 1887
Abstract
A statically balanced mechanism is designed as a potential solution for the positioning of surgical instruments. Its kinematics with five degrees of freedom that decouples linear and angular motions is proposed for that objective. The linear motion of its end effector is provided [...] Read more.
A statically balanced mechanism is designed as a potential solution for the positioning of surgical instruments. Its kinematics with five degrees of freedom that decouples linear and angular motions is proposed for that objective. The linear motion of its end effector is provided by a classical parallelogram linkage. To enhance its adaptability, a mechanical system allows re-orienting the position mechanism in three different working modes (horizontal, upward and downward) while preserving its static balance. Based on the mechanical concept, a uniformized static balancing condition that considers all working modes is given. The orientation of the end effector is provided by a spherical decoupled mechanism. It generates a remote center of motion which is highly representative of kinematics in surgery requirements. Based on the mechanism kinematics, the evolution of its gravitational potential energy is studied. Two different mechanical concepts are then proposed to generate a compensating elastic potential energy. A CAD model of the entire mechanism has allowed the estimation of all mechanical parameters for the selection of the appropriate tension springs and for carrying out validation simulations. A prototype of the statically balanced mechanism is fabricated and successfully tested. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in European Robotics)
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Article
Leveraging Graphical User Interface Automation for Generic Robot Programming
Robotics 2021, 10(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics10010003 - 25 Dec 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1961
Abstract
A novel approach to generic (or generalized) robot programming and a novel simplified, block-based programming environment, called “Assembly”, are introduced. The approach leverages the newest graphical user interface automation tools and techniques to generate programs in various proprietary robot programming environments by emulating [...] Read more.
A novel approach to generic (or generalized) robot programming and a novel simplified, block-based programming environment, called “Assembly”, are introduced. The approach leverages the newest graphical user interface automation tools and techniques to generate programs in various proprietary robot programming environments by emulating user interactions in those environments. The “Assembly” tool is used to generate robot-independent intermediary program models, which are translated into robot-specific programs using a graphical user interface automation toolchain. The generalizability of the approach to list, tree, and block-based programming is assessed using three different robot programming environments, two of which are proprietary. The results of this evaluation suggest that the proposed approach is feasible for an entire range of programming models and thus enables the generation of programs in various proprietary robot programming environments. In educational settings, the automated generation of programs fosters learning different robot programming models by example. For experts, the proposed approach provides a means for generating program (or task) templates, which can be adjusted to the needs of the application at hand on the shop floor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in European Robotics)
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Article
BIM-Integrated Collaborative Robotics for Application in Building Construction and Maintenance
Robotics 2021, 10(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics10010002 - 25 Dec 2020
Viewed by 2210
Abstract
The application of robotics in construction is hindered by the site environment, which is unstructured and subject to change. At the same time, however, buildings and corresponding sites can be accurately described by Building Information Modeling (BIM). Such a model contains geometric and [...] Read more.
The application of robotics in construction is hindered by the site environment, which is unstructured and subject to change. At the same time, however, buildings and corresponding sites can be accurately described by Building Information Modeling (BIM). Such a model contains geometric and semantic data about the construction and operation phases of the building and it is already available at the design phase. We propose a method to leverage BIM for simple yet efficient deployment of robotic systems for construction and operation of buildings. With our proposed approach, BIM is used to provide the robot with a priori geometric and semantic information on the environment and to store information on the operation progress. We present two applications that verify the effectiveness of our proposed method. This system represents a step forward towards an easier application of robots in construction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in European Robotics)
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Article
On the Trajectory Planning for Energy Efficiency in Industrial Robotic Systems
Robotics 2020, 9(4), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics9040089 - 26 Oct 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1355
Abstract
In this paper, we present an approach for the minimum-energy trajectory planning in industrial robotic systems. The method is based on the dynamic and electro-mechanical modeling of one-degree-of-freedom systems and the derivation of the energy formulation for standard point-to-point trajectories, as, for instance, [...] Read more.
In this paper, we present an approach for the minimum-energy trajectory planning in industrial robotic systems. The method is based on the dynamic and electro-mechanical modeling of one-degree-of-freedom systems and the derivation of the energy formulation for standard point-to-point trajectories, as, for instance, trapezoidal and cycloidal speed profiles. The proposed approach is experimentally validated on two robotic systems, namely a linear axis of a Cartesian manipulator built in the 1990’s, and a test bench composed of two servomotors directly connected or coupled by means of a planetary gear. During the tests, the electrical power expended by the systems is measured and integrated over time to compute the energy consumption for each trajectory. Despite the limitations of the energy measurement systems, the results reveal a trend in agreement with the theoretical calculations, showing the possibility of applying the method for enhancing the performance of industrial robotic systems in terms of energy consumption in point-to-point motions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in European Robotics)
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