Matching Items (32)
- All Subjects: Mechanical Engineering
- All Subjects: soft robotics
- Creators: Lee, Hyunglae
- Member of: Theses and Dissertations
In-situ exploration of planetary bodies such as Mars or the Moon have provided geologists and planetary scientists a detailed understanding of how these bodies formed and evolved. In-situ exploration has aided in the quest for water and life-supporting chemicals. In-situ exploration of Mars carried out by large SUV-sized rovers that travel long distance, carry sophisticated onboard laboratories to perform soil analysis and sample collection. But their large size and mobility method prevents them from accessing or exploring extreme environments, particularly caves, canyons, cliffs and craters.
This work presents sub- 2 kg ball robots that can roll and hop in low gravity environments. These robots are low-cost enabling for one or more to be deployed in the field. These small robots can be deployed from a larger rover or lander and complement their capabilities by performing scouting and identifying potential targets of interest. Their small size and ball shape allow them to tumble freely, preventing them from getting stuck. Hopping enables the robot to overcome obstacles larger than the size of the robot.
The proposed ball-robot design consists of a spherical core with two hemispherical shells with grouser which act as wheels for small movements. These robots have two cameras for stereovision which can be used for localization. Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) and wheel encoder are used for dead reckoning. Communication is performed using Zigbee radio. This enables communication between a robot and a lander/rover or for inter-robot communication. The robots have been designed to have a payload with a 300 gram capacity. These may include chemical analysis sensors, spectrometers and other small sensors.
The performance of the robot has been evaluated in a laboratory environment using Low-gravity Offset and Motion Assistance Simulation System (LOMASS). An evaluation was done to understand the effect of grouser height and grouser separation angle on the performance of the robot in different terrains. The experiments show with higher grouser height and optimal separation angle the power requirement increases but an increase in average robot speed and traction is also observed. The robot was observed to perform hops of approximately 20 cm in simulated lunar condition. Based on theoretical calculations, the robot would be able to perform 208 hops with single charge and will operate for 35 minutes. The study will be extended to operate multiple robots in a network to perform exploration. Their small size and cost makes it possible to deploy dozens in a region of interest. Multiple ball robots can cooperatively perform unique in-situ science measurements and analyze a larger surface area than a single robot alone on a planet surface.
The interaction between humans and robots has become an important area of research as the diversity of robotic applications has grown. The cooperation of a human and robot to achieve a goal is an important area within the physical human-robot interaction (pHRI) field. The expansion of this field is toward moving robotics into applications in unstructured environments. When humans cooperate with each other, often there are leader and follower roles. These roles may change during the task. This creates a need for the robotic system to be able to exchange roles with the human during a cooperative task. The unstructured nature of the new applications in the field creates a need for robotic systems to be able to interact in six degrees of freedom (DOF). Moreover, in these unstructured environments, the robotic system will have incomplete information. This means that it will sometimes perform an incorrect action and control methods need to be able to correct for this. However, the most compelling applications for robotics are where they have capabilities that the human does not, which also creates the need for robotic systems to be able to correct human action when it detects an error. Activity in the brain precedes human action. Utilizing this activity in the brain can classify the type of interaction desired by the human. For this dissertation, the cooperation between humans and robots is improved in two main areas. First, the ability for electroencephalogram (EEG) to determine the desired cooperation role with a human is demonstrated with a correct classification rate of 65%. Second, a robotic controller is developed to allow the human and robot to cooperate in six DOF with asymmetric role exchange. This system allowed human-robot cooperation to perform a cooperative task at 100% correct rate. High, medium, and low levels of robotic automation are shown to affect performance, with the human making the greatest numbers of errors when the robotic system has a medium level of automation.
The Basilisk lizard is known for its agile locomotion capabilities on granular and aquatic media making it an impressive model organism for studying multi-terrain locomotion mechanics. The work presented here is aimed at understanding locomotion characteristics of Basilisk lizards through a systematic series of robotic and animal experiments. In this work, a Basilisk lizard inspired legged robot with bipedal and quadrupedal locomotion capabilities is presented. A series of robot experiments are conducted on dry and wet (saturated) granular media to determine the effects of gait parameters and substrate saturation, on robot velocity and energetics. Gait parameters studied here are stride frequency and stride length. Results of robot experiments are compared with previously obtained animal data. It is observed that for a fixed robot stride frequency, velocity and stride length increase with increasing saturation, confirming the locomotion characteristics of the Basilisk lizard. It is further observed that with increasing saturation level, robot cost of transport decreases. An identical series of robot experiments are performed with quadrupedal gait to determine effects of gait parameters on robot performance. Generally, energetics of bipedal running is observed to be higher than quadrupedal operation. Experimental results also reveal how gait parameters can be varied to achieve different desired velocities depending on the substrate saturation level. In addition to robot experiments on granular media, a series of animal experiments are conducted to determine and characterize strategies
exhibited by Basilisk lizards when transitioning from granular to aquatic media.
Basilisk lizards are often studied for their unique ability to run across the surface of
water. Due to the complicated fluid dynamics of this process, the forces applied on the
water’s surface cannot be measured using traditional methods. This thesis presents a
novel technique of measuring the forces using a fluid dynamic force platform (FDFP),
a light, rigid box immersed in water. This platform, along with a motion capture
system, can be used to characterize the kinematics and dynamics of a basilisk lizard
running on water. This could ultimately lead to robots that can run on water in a
It is well known that the geckos can cling to almost any surface using highly dense micro
ano fibrils found on the feet that rely on Van Der Waals forces to adhere. A few experimental and theoretical approaches have been taken to understand the adhesion mechanism of gecko feet. This work explains the building procedure of custom experimental setup to test the adhesion force over a temperature range and extends its application in space environment, potentially unsafe working condition.
This study demonstrates that these adhesive capable of switching adhesive properties not only at room environment but also over a temperature range of -160 degC to 120 degC in vacuum conditions. These conditions are similar to the condition experienced by a satellite in a space orbiting around the earth. Also, this study demonstrated various detachment and specimen patch preparation methods. The custom-made experimental setup for adhesion test can measure adhesion force in temperature and pressure controlled environment over specimen size of 1 sq. inch. A cryogenic cooling system with liquid nitrogen is used to achieve -160 degC and an electric resistive heating system are used to achieve 120 degC in controlled volume. Thermal electrodes, infrared thermopile detectors are used to record temperature at sample and pressure indicator to record vacuum condition in controlled volume. Reversibility of the switching behaviour of the specimen in controlled environment confirms its application in space and very high or very low-temperature conditions.
The experimental setup was developed using SolidWorks as a design tool, Ansys as simulation tool and the data acquisition utilizes LabVIEW available in the market today.
Human walking has been a highly studied topic in research communities because of its extreme importance to human functionality and mobility. A complex system of interconnected gait mechanisms in humans is responsible for generating robust and consistent walking motion over unpredictable ground and through challenging obstacles. One interesting aspect of human gait is the ability to adjust in order to accommodate varying surface grades. Typical approaches to investigating this gait function focus on incline and decline surface angles, but most experiments fail to address the effects of surface grades that cause ankle inversion and eversion. There have been several studies of ankle angle perturbation over wider ranges of grade orientations in static conditions; however, these studies do not account for effects during the gait cycle. Furthermore, contemporary studies on this topic neglect critical sources of unnatural stimulus in the design of investigative technology. It is hypothesized that the investigation of ankle angle perturbations in the frontal plane, particularly in the context of inter-leg coordination mechanisms, results in a more complete characterization of the effects of surface grade on human gait mechanisms. This greater understanding could potentially lead to significant applications in gait rehabilitation, especially for individuals who suffer from impairment as a result of stroke. A wearable pneumatic device was designed to impose inversion and eversion perturbations on the ankle through simulated surface grade changes. This prototype device was fabricated, characterized, and tested in order to assess its effectiveness. After testing and characterizing this device, it was used in a series of experiments on human subjects while data was gathered on muscular activation and gait kinematics. The results of the characterization show success in imposing inversion and eversion angle perturbations of approximately 9° with a response time of 0.5 s. Preliminary experiments focusing on inter-leg coordination with healthy human subjects show that one-sided inversion and eversion perturbations have virtually no effect on gait kinematics. However, changes in muscular activation from one-sided perturbations show statistical significance in key lower limb muscles. Thus, the prototype device demonstrates novelty in the context of human gait research for potential applications in rehabilitation.
The advancements in the technology of MEMS fabrication has been phenomenal in recent years. In no mean measure this has been the result of continued demand from the consumer electronics market to make devices smaller and better. MEMS inertial measuring units (IMUs) have found revolutionary applications in a wide array of fields like medical instrumentation, navigation, attitude stabilization and virtual reality. It has to be noted though that for advanced applications of motion tracking, navigation and guidance the cost of the IMUs is still pretty high. This is mainly because the process of calibration and signal processing used to get highly stable results from MEMS IMU is an expensive and time-consuming process. Also to be noted is the inevitability of using external sensors like GPS or camera for aiding the IMU data due to the error propagation in IMU measurements adds to the complexity of the system.
First an efficient technique is proposed to acquire clean and stable data from unaided IMU measurements and then proceed to use that system for tracking human motion. First part of this report details the design and development of the low-cost inertial measuring system ‘yIMU’. This thesis intends to bring together seemingly independent techniques that were highly application specific into one monolithic algorithm that is computationally efficient for generating reliable orientation estimates. Second part, systematically deals with development of a tracking routine for human limb movements. The validity of the system has then been verified.
The central idea is that in most cases the use of expensive MEMS IMUs is not warranted if robust smart algorithms can be deployed to gather data at a fraction of the cost. A low-cost prototype has been developed comparable to tactical grade performance for under $15 hardware. In order to further the practicability of this device we have applied it to human motion tracking with excellent results. The commerciality of device has hence been thoroughly established.
Lower-limb wearable assistive robots could alter the users gait kinematics by inputting external power, which can be interpreted as mechanical perturbation to subject normal gait. The change in kinematics may affect the dynamic stability. This work attempts to understand the effects of different physical assistance from these robots on the gait dynamic stability.
A knee exoskeleton and ankle assistive device (Robotic Shoe) are developed and used to provide walking assistance. The knee exoskeleton provides personalized knee joint assistive torque during the stance phase. The robotic shoe is a light-weighted mechanism that can store the potential energy at heel strike and release it by using an active locking mechanism at the terminal stance phase to provide push-up ankle torque and assist the toe-off. Lower-limb Kinematic time series data are collected for subjects wearing these devices in the passive and active mode. The changes of kinematics with and without these devices on lower-limb motion are first studied. Orbital stability, as one of the commonly used measure to quantify gait stability through calculating Floquet Multipliers (FM), is employed to asses the effects of these wearable devices on gait stability. It is shown that wearing the passive knee exoskeleton causes less orbitally stable gait for users, while the knee joint active assistance improves the orbital stability compared to passive mode. The robotic shoe only affects the targeted joint (right ankle) kinematics, and wearing the passive mechanism significantly increases the ankle joint FM values, which indicates less walking orbital stability. More analysis is done on a mechanically perturbed walking public data set, to show that orbital stability can quantify the effects of external mechanical perturbation on gait dynamic stability. This method can further be used as a control design tool to ensure gait stability for users of lower-limb assistive devices.
The world population is aging. Age-related disorders such as stroke and spinal cord injury are increasing rapidly, and such patients often suffer from mobility impairment. Wearable robotic exoskeletons are developed that serve as rehabilitation devices for these patients. In this thesis, a knee exoskeleton design with higher torque output compared to the first version, is designed and fabricated.
A series elastic actuator is one of the many actuation mechanisms employed in exoskeletons. In this mechanism a torsion spring is used between the actuator and human joint. It serves as torque sensor and energy buffer, making it compact and
A version of knee exoskeleton was developed using the SEA mechanism. It uses worm gear and spur gear combination to amplify the assistive torque generated from the DC motor. It weighs 1.57 kg and provides a maximum assistive torque of 11.26 N·m. It can be used as a rehabilitation device for patients affected with knee joint impairment.
A new version of exoskeleton design is proposed as an improvement over the first version. It consists of components such as brushless DC motor and planetary gear that are selected to meet the design requirements and biomechanical considerations. All the other components such as bevel gear and torsion spring are selected to be compatible with the exoskeleton. The frame of the exoskeleton is modeled in SolidWorks to be modular and easy to assemble. It is fabricated using sheet metal aluminum. It is designed to provide a maximum assistive torque of 23 N·m, two times over the present exoskeleton. A simple brace is 3D printed, making it easy to wear and use. It weighs 2.4 kg.
The exoskeleton is equipped with encoders that are used to measure spring deflection and motor angle. They act as sensors for precise control of the exoskeleton.
An impedance-based control is implemented using NI MyRIO, a FPGA based controller. The motor is controlled using a motor driver and powered using an external battery source. The bench tests and walking tests are presented. The new version of exoskeleton is compared with first version and state of the art devices.
Wearable robotics has gained huge popularity in recent years due to its wide applications in rehabilitation, military, and industrial fields. The weakness of the skeletal muscles in the aging population and neurological injuries such as stroke and spinal cord injuries seriously limit the abilities of these individuals to perform daily activities. Therefore, there is an increasing attention in the development of wearable robots to assist the elderly and patients with disabilities for motion assistance and rehabilitation. In military and industrial sectors, wearable robots can increase the productivity of workers and soldiers. It is important for the wearable robots to maintain smooth interaction with the user while evolving in complex environments with minimum effort from the user. Therefore, the recognition of the user's activities such as walking or jogging in real time becomes essential to provide appropriate assistance based on the activity.
This dissertation proposes two real-time human activity recognition algorithms intelligent fuzzy inference (IFI) algorithm and Amplitude omega ($A \omega$) algorithm to identify the human activities, i.e., stationary and locomotion activities. The IFI algorithm uses knee angle and ground contact forces (GCFs) measurements from four inertial measurement units (IMUs) and a pair of smart shoes. Whereas, the $A \omega$ algorithm is based on thigh angle measurements from a single IMU.
This dissertation also attempts to address the problem of online tuning of virtual impedance for an assistive robot based on real-time gait and activity measurement data to personalize the assistance for different users. An automatic impedance tuning (AIT) approach is presented for a knee assistive device (KAD) in which the IFI algorithm is used for real-time activity measurements. This dissertation also proposes an adaptive oscillator method known as amplitude omega adaptive oscillator ($A\omega AO$) method for HeSA (hip exoskeleton for superior augmentation) to provide bilateral hip assistance during human locomotion activities. The $A \omega$ algorithm is integrated into the adaptive oscillator method to make the approach robust for different locomotion activities. Experiments are performed on healthy subjects to validate the efficacy of the human activities recognition algorithms and control strategies proposed in this dissertation. Both the activity recognition algorithms exhibited higher classification accuracy with less update time. The results of AIT demonstrated that the KAD assistive torque was smoother and EMG signal of Vastus Medialis is reduced, compared to constant impedance and finite state machine approaches. The $A\omega AO$ method showed real-time learning of the locomotion activities signals for three healthy subjects while wearing HeSA. To understand the influence of the assistive devices on the inherent dynamic gait stability of the human, stability analysis is performed. For this, the stability metrics derived from dynamical systems theory are used to evaluate unilateral knee assistance applied to the healthy participants.