2008 Poster Sessions : A Hybrid Actuation for Bio-Inspired Human-Friendly Robot Design and Control (Demo)

Student Name : Dongjun Shin and Irene Sardellitti
Advisor : Oussama Khatib
Research Areas: Artificial Intelligence
Safety is a critical characteristic for robots designed to operate in human environments. This paper presents the concept of hybrid actuation for the development of human friendly robotic systems. The new design employs inherently safe pneumatic artificial muscles augmented with small electrical actuators, human-bone-inspired robotic links, and newly designed distributed compact pressure regulators. The modularization and integration of the robot components enable low complexity in the design and assembly. The hybrid actuation concept has been validated on a two-degree-of-freedom prototype arm. The experimental results show the significant improvement that can be achieved with hybrid actuation over an actuation system with pneumatic artificial muscles alone. Using the Manipulator Safety Index (MSI), the paper discusses the safety of the new prototype and shows the robot arm safety characteristics to be comparable to those of a human arm.

Dongjun Shin received the BS degree from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea, in 2003 and the M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University, CA, USA in 2005. He is currently developing a Human Safety Robot with hybrid actuation. His research interests include bio-inspired robot design, control, and manufacturing.

Irene Sardellitti received in 2004 her M.S. degree in Biomedical Engineering (Cum Laude) from Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome. In 2005, Irene joined the Advanced Robotic Technology and System (ARTS) Laboratories from Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa, to pursue a PhD in the area of Bioengineering.