Building the robots of the next generation: Activities carried out at Advanced Robotics department, IIT

10. Februar 2014


As recent application domains emerge requiring the employment of robots within unstructured environments, new demands arise requiring more versatile systems which can cope with unpredictable interactions.
Recently, compliance has been identified as one of the key features which enables the safe operation of robots interacting with humans and environment. Despite the certain merits gained with the introduction of compliance, this property introduces also some drawbacks as the reduction of the bandwidth achievable in the controlled system and the introduction of oscillatory dynamics which dramatically reduce the stability and accuracy of the system. A solution which can be used to overcome such issues consists in the incorporation of Variable Impedance Actuation (VIA) systems. This talk will therefore focus on the evolution of robotics systems from traditionally stiff to purely compliant to more complex and performing systems which incorporate variable impedance / variable physical damping transmissions as added feature for the development of robust, safe and still well performing robots. In addition to the main topic discussed above, I will also present an overview of the activities carried out at the department of Advanced Robotics, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) in the areas of learning, bio-inspired design and surgical robotics.