Matching Items (22)

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Internal Longitudinal and Transverse Muscles in Relation to Octopus Arm Function

Description

The entirely soft-tissue anatomy of the octopus arm provides the animal with a large amount of freedom of movement, while still allowing the specimen to support itself despite the lack of a skeletal system. This is made possible through the

The entirely soft-tissue anatomy of the octopus arm provides the animal with a large amount of freedom of movement, while still allowing the specimen to support itself despite the lack of a skeletal system. This is made possible through the use of various muscle layers within the octopus arm, which act as muscular hydrostats. Magnetic Resonance imaging of the octopus arm was employed to view the muscle layers within the octopus arm and observe trends and differences in these layers at the proximal, middle, and distal portions of the arms. A total of 39 arms from 6 specimens were imaged to give 112 total imaged sections (38 proximal, 37 middle, 37 distal). Significant increases in both the internal longitudinal muscle layer and the nervous core were found between the proximal and middle, proximal and distal, and middle and distal sections of the arms. This could reflect selection for these structures distally in the octopus arm for predator or other noxious stimuli avoidance. A significant decrease in the transverse muscle layer was found in the middle and distal sections of the arms. This could reflect selection for elongation in the proximal portion of the octopus arm or could be the result of selection for the internal longitudinal muscle layer and nervous core distally. Previous studies on Octopus vulgaris showed a preference for using the proximal arms in the pushing movement of crawling and a preference for using the anterior arms in exploring behaviors (Levy et al., 2015 and Byrne et al., 2006). Differences between the anterior and posterior arms for the transverse muscle layer, internal longitudinal muscle layer, and the nervous core were insignificant, reflecting a lack of structure-function relationships. This could also be due to a low sample size. Differences between the left and right arms for the transverse muscle layer, internal longitudinal muscle layer, and the nervous core were insignificant, supporting previous evidence that left versus right eye and arm preferences in octopus are not population-wide, but individual. Some slight trends can be found for individual arms, but the sample size was too small to make definitive statements regarding differences among specific arms.

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2019-05

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An Adaptive Boundary Coverage Control Strategy for Swarm Robotic Systems

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This thesis presents an approach to design and implementation of an adaptive boundary coverage control strategy for a swarm robotic system. Several fields of study are relevant to this project, including; dynamic modeling, control theory, programming, and robotic design. Tools

This thesis presents an approach to design and implementation of an adaptive boundary coverage control strategy for a swarm robotic system. Several fields of study are relevant to this project, including; dynamic modeling, control theory, programming, and robotic design. Tools and techniques from these fields were used to design and implement a model simulation and an experimental testbed. To achieve this goal, a simulation of the boundary coverage control strategy was first developed. This simulated model allowed for concept verification for different robot groups and boundary designs. The simulation consisted of a single, constantly expanding circular boundary with a modeled swarm of robots that autonomously allocate themselves around the boundary. Ultimately, this simulation was implemented in an experimental testbed consisting of mobile robots and a moving boundary wall to exhibit the behaviors of the simulated robots. The conclusions from this experiment are hoped to help make further advancements to swarm robotic technology. The results presented show promise for future progress in adaptive control strategies for robotic swarms.

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2017-05

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Asteroid Mobility Using Screw-Powered Vehicles

Description

The role of robotics mobility is essential in the world of research because it allows humans to perform jobs that are dull, dirty, or dangerous without being physically present. A typical robot environment is one that is smooth and predictable.

The role of robotics mobility is essential in the world of research because it allows humans to perform jobs that are dull, dirty, or dangerous without being physically present. A typical robot environment is one that is smooth and predictable. Screw-powered vehicles (SPV's) have commonly been used in these predictable environment situations such as terrestrial applications like mud and snow. However, a gap remains in SPV's traversing complex environments, particularly debris and granular material. The goal is to study the characteristics of how a SPV might move and generate force in such a granular environment for Earth and space. In our study, the chosen granular environment is soda-lime glass beads for easy characterization. This study with glass beads focuses on two separate approaches. The first approach is using a single screw rotating while the apparatus remains static and analyzing the forces that impact the screw. The second approach includes using a full body craft with two double helix screws and analyzing the translational velocity of the craft. This study presents both experimental and computational results using simulations with Multi-Body Dynamics (MBD) and Discrete Element Method (DEM) software packages to investigate the trends of SPV's in a granular environment.

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2018-05

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Statistical Analyses of Octopus bimaculoides Morphology and Physiology

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Chapter 1: Functional Specialization and Arm Length in Octopus bimaculoides<br/>Although studies are limited, there is some evidence that octopuses use their arms for specialized functions. For example, in Octopus maya and O. vulgaris, the anterior arms are utilized more frequently

Chapter 1: Functional Specialization and Arm Length in Octopus bimaculoides<br/>Although studies are limited, there is some evidence that octopuses use their arms for specialized functions. For example, in Octopus maya and O. vulgaris, the anterior arms are utilized more frequently for grasping and exploring (Lee, 1992; Byrne et al., 2006a), while posterior arms are more frequently utilized for crawling in O. vulgaris (Levy et al., 2015). In addition, O. vulgaris uses favored arms when retrieving food and making contact with a T-maze as dictated by their lateralized vision (Byrne, 2006b). O. vulgaris also demonstrates a preference for anterior arms when retrieving food from a Y-maze (Gutnick et. al. 2020). In Octopus bimaculoides bending and elongation were more frequent in anterior arms than posterior arms during reaching and grasping tasks, and right arms displayed deformation more frequently than left arms, with the exception of the hectocotylus (R3) in males (Kennedy et. al. 2020). Given these observed functional differences, the goal of this study was to determine if morphological differences exist between different octopus arm identities, coded as L1-L4 and R1-R4. In particular, the relationship between arm length and arm identity was analyzed statistically. The dataset included 111 intact arms from 22 wild-caught specimens of O. bimaculoides (11 male and 11 female). Simple linear regressions and an analysis of covariance were performed to test the relationship between arm length and a number of factors, including body mass, sex, anterior versus posterior location, and left versus the right side. Mass had a significant linear relationship with arm length and a one-way ANOVA demonstrated that arm identity is significantly correlated with arm length. Moreover, an analysis of covariance demonstrated that independent of mass, arm identity has a significant linear relationship with arm length. Despite an overall appearance of bilateral symmetry, arms of different identities do not have statistically equivalent lengths in O. bimaculoides. Furthermore, differences in arm length do not appear to be related to sex, anterior versus posterior location, or left or right side. These results call into question the existing practice of treating all arms as equivalent by either using a single-arm measurement as representative of all eight or calculating an average length and suggest that morphological analyses of specific arm identities may be more informative.<br/><br/>Chapter 2: Predicting and Analyzing Octopus bimaculoides Sensitivity to Global Anesthetic<br/>Although global anesthetic is widely used in human and veterinary medicine the mechanism and impact of global anesthetic is relatively poorly comprehended, even in well-studied mammalian models. Invertebrate anesthetic is even less understood. In order to evaluate factors that impact anesthetic effectiveness analyses were conducted on 22 wild-caught specimens of Octopus bimaculoides during 72 anesthetic events.Three machine learning models: regression tree, random forest, and generalized additive model were utilized to make predictions of the concentration of anesthetic (percent ethanol by volume) from 11 features and to determine feature importance in making those predictions. The fit of each model was analyzed on three criteria: correlation coefficient, mean squared error, and relative error. Feature importance was determined in a model-specific manner. Predictions from the best performing model, random forest, have a .82 correlation coefficient with experimental values. Feature importance suggests that temperature on arrival and cohabitation factors strongly influence predictions for anesthesia concentration. This likely indicates the transportation process was incurring stress on the animals and that cohabitation was also stressful for the typically solitary O. bimaculoides. This long-term stress could lead to a decline in the animal’s well-being and a lower necessary ethanol concentration (Horvath et al., 2013). This analysis provides information to improve the care of octopus in laboratory settings and furthers the understanding of the effects of global anesthetic in invertebrates, particularly one with a distributed nervous system.

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2021-05

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Basilisk Lizard Force Interactions with Fluid Environments

Description

Current robotic systems have difficulties traversing and interacting with complex and deformable terrains, such as sand, mud, and water. This research intends to find hierarchical concepts that can be implemented into robotic systems for efficient locomotion by studying animal interactions

Current robotic systems have difficulties traversing and interacting with complex and deformable terrains, such as sand, mud, and water. This research intends to find hierarchical concepts that can be implemented into robotic systems for efficient locomotion by studying animal interactions with these terrains. Due to specific biological characteristics and environmental factors, the basilisk lizard is one animal that can transition easily between many types of terrain. This research will investigate the dynamics and kinematics of the basilisk lizard as it runs on the surface of water. Specifically, a fluid dynamic force platform has been designed and developed that will directly measure the forces exerted by the animal’s feet as it runs across the water. This platform will be used in conjunction with a motion capture system to characterize the basilisk lizard movements. This report examines the design and development of the force platform, the characterization of the frequencies of the platform leading to validation, and presents observations from preliminary lizard experiments with the setup.

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2020-05

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Environment Dependent Modulation of Ankle Stiffness During Walking

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Advancements in the field of design and control of lower extremity robotics requires a comprehensive understanding of the underlying mechanics of the human ankle. The ankle joint acts as an essential interface between the neuromuscular system of the body and

Advancements in the field of design and control of lower extremity robotics requires a comprehensive understanding of the underlying mechanics of the human ankle. The ankle joint acts as an essential interface between the neuromuscular system of the body and the physical world, especially during locomotion. This paper investigates how the modulation of ankle stiffness is altered throughout the stance phase of the gait cycle depending on the environment the ankle is interacting with. Ten young healthy subjects with no neurological impairments or history of ankle injury were tested by walking over a robotic platform which collected torque and position data. The platform performed a perturbation on the ankle at 20%, 40%, and 60% of their stance phase in order to estimate ankle stiffness and evaluate if the environment plays a role on its modulation. The platform provided either a rigid environment or a compliant environment in which it was compliant and deflected according to the torque applied to the platform. Subjects adapted in different ways to achieve balance in the different environments. When comparing the environments, subjects modulated their stiffness to either increase, decrease, or remain the same. Notably, stiffness as well as the subjects’ center of pressure was found to increase with time as they transitioned from late loading to terminal stance (heel strike to toe-off) regardless of environmental conditions. This allowed for a model of ankle stiffness to be developed as a function of center of pressure, independent of whether a subject is walking on the rigid or compliant environment. The modulation of stiffness parameters characterized in this study can be used in the design and control of lower extremity robotics which focus on accurate biomimicry of the healthy human ankle. The stiffness characteristics can also be used to help identify particular ankle impairments and to design proper treatment for individuals such as those who have suffered from a stroke or MS. Changing environments is where a majority of tripping incidents occur, which can lead to significant injuries. For this reason, studying healthy ankle behavior in a variety of environments is of particular interest.

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2020-05

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Development and Performance of a Screw-Propelled ISRU Excavation System

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Regolith excavation systems are the enabling technology that must be developed in order to implement many of the plans for in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) that have been developed in recent years to aid in creating a lasting human presence on

Regolith excavation systems are the enabling technology that must be developed in order to implement many of the plans for in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) that have been developed in recent years to aid in creating a lasting human presence on the surface of the Moon, Mars, and other celestial bodies. The majority of proposed ISRU excavation systems are integrated onto a wheeled mobility system, however none yet have proposed the use of a screw-propelled vehicle, which has the potential to augment and enhance the capabilities of the excavation system. As a result, CASPER, a novel screw-propelled excavation rover is developed and analyzed to determine its effectiveness as a ISRU excavation system. The excavation rate, power, velocity, cost of transport, and a new parameter, excavation transport rate, are analyzed for various configurations of the vehicle through mobility and excavation tests performed in silica sand. The optimal configuration yielded a 28.4 kg/hr excavation rate and11.2 m/min traverse rate with an overall system mass of 3.4 kg and power draw of26.3 W. CASPER’s mobility and excavation performance results are compared to four notable proposed ISRU excavation systems of various types. The results indicate that this architecture shows promise as an ISRU excavator because it provides significant excavation capability with low mass and power requirements.

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2021

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Design and development of a passive prosthetic ankle

Description

In this work, different passive prosthetic ankles are studied. It is observed that complicated designs increase the cost of production, but simple designs have limited functionality. A new design for a passive prosthetic ankle is presented that is simple to

In this work, different passive prosthetic ankles are studied. It is observed that complicated designs increase the cost of production, but simple designs have limited functionality. A new design for a passive prosthetic ankle is presented that is simple to manufacture while having superior functionality. This prosthetic ankle design has two springs: one mimicking Achilles tendon and the other mimicking Anterior-Tibialis tendon. The dynamics of the prosthetic ankle is discussed and simulated using Working model 2D. The simulation results are used to optimize the springs stiffness. Two experiments are conducted using the developed ankle to verify the simulation It is found that this novel ankle design is better than Solid Ankle Cushioned Heel (SACH) foot. The experimental data is used to find the tendon and muscle activation forces of the subject wearing the prosthesis using OpenSim. A conclusion is included along with suggested future work.

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2017

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Robotic Swarm Control using Deep Reinforcement Learning Strategies based on Mean-Field Models

Description

As technological advancements in silicon, sensors, and actuation continue, the development of robotic swarms is shifting from the domain of science fiction to reality. Many swarm applications, such as environmental monitoring, precision agriculture, disaster response, and lunar prospecting, will require

As technological advancements in silicon, sensors, and actuation continue, the development of robotic swarms is shifting from the domain of science fiction to reality. Many swarm applications, such as environmental monitoring, precision agriculture, disaster response, and lunar prospecting, will require controlling numerous robots with limited capabilities and information to redistribute among multiple states, such as spatial locations or tasks. A scalable control approach is to program the robots with stochastic control policies such that the robot population in each state evolves according to a mean-field model, which is independent of the number and identities of the robots. Using this model, the control policies can be designed to stabilize the swarm to the target distribution. To avoid the need to reprogram the robots for different target distributions, the robot control policies can be defined to depend only on the presence of a “leader” agent, whose control policy is designed to guide the swarm to a particular distribution. This dissertation presents a novel deep reinforcement learning (deep RL) approach to designing control policies that redistribute a swarm as quickly as possible over a strongly connected graph, according to a mean-field model in the form of the discrete-time Kolmogorov forward equation. In the leader-based strategies, the leader determines its next action based on its observations of robot populations and shepherds the swarm over the graph by probabilistically repelling nearby robots. The scalability of this approach with the swarm size is demonstrated with leader control policies that are designed using two tabular Temporal-Difference learning algorithms, trained on a discretization of the swarm distribution. To improve the scalability of the approach with robot population and graph size, control policies for both leader-based and leaderless strategies are designed using an actor-critic deep RL method that is trained on the swarm distribution predicted by the mean-field model. In the leaderless strategy, the robots’ control policies depend only on their local measurements of nearby robot populations. The control approaches are validated for different graph and swarm sizes in numerical simulations, 3D robot simulations, and experiments on a multi-robot testbed.

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2021

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Magnetic Needle Steering for Medical Applications

Description

Many medical procedures, like surgeries, deal with the physical manipulation of sensitive internal tissues. Over time, new medical tools and techniques have been developed to improve the safety and efficacy of these procedures. Despite the leaps and bounds of progress

Many medical procedures, like surgeries, deal with the physical manipulation of sensitive internal tissues. Over time, new medical tools and techniques have been developed to improve the safety and efficacy of these procedures. Despite the leaps and bounds of progress made up to the present day, three major obstacles (among others) persist, bleeding, pain, and the risk of infection. Advances in minimally invasive treatments have transformed many formerly risky surgical procedures into very safe and highly successful routines. Minimally invasive surgeries are characterized by small incision profiles compared to the large incisions in open surgeries, minimizing the aforementioned issues. Minimally invasive procedures lead to several benefits, such as shorter recovery time, fewer complications, and less postoperative pain. In minimally invasive surgery, doctors use various techniques to operate with less damage to the body than open surgery. Today, these procedures have an established, successful history and promising future. Steerable needles are one of the tools proposed for minimally invasive operations. Needle steering is a method for guiding a long, flexible needle through curved paths to reach targets deep in the body, eliminating the need for large incisions. In this dissertation, we present a new needle steering technology: magnetic needle steering. This technology is proposed to address the limitations of conventional needle steering that hindered its clinical applications. Magnetic needle steering eliminates excessive tissue damage, restrictions of the minimum radius of curvature, and the need for a complex nonlinear model, to name a few. It also allows fabricating the needle shaft out of soft and tissue-compliant materials.
This is achieved by first developing an electromagnetic coil system capable of producing desired magnetic fields and gradients; then, a magnetically actuated needle is designed, and its effectiveness is experimentally evaluated. Afterward, the scalability of this technique was tested using permanent magnets controlled with a robotic arm.
Furthermore, different configurations of permanent magnets and their influence on the magnetic field are investigated, enabling the possibility of designing a desired magnetic field for a specific surgical procedure and operation on a particular organ. Finally, potential future directions towards animal studies and clinical trials are discussed.

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2021