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On motor intelligence for soft robots

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Fulvio Forni.

Leveraging the capabilities provided by their elastic deformable bodies, soft robots promise to have a disruptive impact on several fields of science, industry, and society. I will start my talk by discussing continuum soft robots – i.e., systems inspired by vertebrate animals. In the past decade, substantial progress has been made in developing continuum soft robotic platforms, but significantly less attention has been devoted to the control challenge. Today, soft robotic systems still need a low-level artificial brain that can make them execute precise motions and eventually exploit the intelligence embedded in their complex mechanical structures. In this talk, I will briefly introduce this grand challenge within the soft robotic field and then introduce the model-based view of its solution. I will show how simplified models can be combined with nonlinear control theory, leading to precise and dynamic task execution. I will then zoom out and discuss Eigenmanifold stabilization as one way articulated and continuum soft robots can outperform their rigid counterparts.

The seminar will be held in LR5 , Baker Building, Department of Engineering, and online (zoom):

This talk is part of the CUED Control Group Seminars series.

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