TechTalks from event: Technical session talks from ICRA 2012

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Micro/Nanoscale Automation III

  • Automated Parallel Cell Isolation and Deposition Using Microwell Array and Optical Tweezers Authors: Wang, Xiaolin; Sun, Dong
    Isolation and deposition of specific live cells with the high spatio-temporal resolution from the heterogeneous mixtures are of critical importance to a wide range of biomedical applications. In this paper, we report a robot-assisted cell manipulation tool with optical tweezers based on a uniquely designed microwell array. The whole automatic manipulation includes the target cell recognition, isolation, transportation and deposition. The microwell array is designed based on microfluidics technology, which allows the passive hydrodynamic docking of cells. Image processing technique is used to recognize the target cells based on the cell size or fluorescence label. After recognition, the target cells can be levitated from the microwell, and then assembled by multiple optical traps in parallel. The optically trapped target cells are then transported and deposited to the desired location precisely. Experiments are performed to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed cell manipulation approach.
  • Modeling and Compensation of Multivariable Creep in Multi-DOF Piezoelectric Actuators Authors: Rakotondrabe, Micky
    The scope of this paper is the modeling, identification and compensation of multivariable creep in piezoelectric actuators. Based on the inverse multiplicative scheme, we propose an approach to model and reduce the creep when the actuators have multiple degrees of freedom. The approach is simple to compute and easy to implement. The experimental results demonstrate the efficiency of the proposed approach on piezoelectric actuators.
  • High Speed Cell Patterning by Dielectrophoresis and On-Chip Fabrication of Microstructure Embedding Patterned Cells Authors: Yue, Tao; Nakajima, Masahiro; Kojima, Masaru; Fukuda, Toshio
    Constructing different patterns of cells and immobilizing these cells inside certain structures are very important issues for artificial tissue engineering. In this paper, we present methods of forming line pattern of yeast cells by dielectrophoresis (DEP) and immobilizing patterned cells by photo-crosslinkable resin. High speed cell pattering by DEP and on-chip fabrication of microstructure which contains patterned yeast cells is demonstrated. In order to applying DEP force for forming cell pattern, several novel microelectrodes are fabricated by Indium Tin Oxides (ITO) which are coated on the glass. The two kinds of DEP responses of yeast cell (W303) and the precise experimental parameters of them are confirmed. Based on negative DEP phenomenon, cell traps generated by microelectrode are demonstrated. Position control and transportation of yeast cells is performed by using cell traps. Besides, a cell trap matrix is fabricated and high speed cell pattering is performed. The experimental results show that the cell line patterns which contain hundreds of yeast cells can be formed by DEP within 1 second. The on-chip fabrication for arbitrary shapes of microstructures based on Poly Ethylene Glycol Diacrylate (PEG-DA) is reported. With the cell patterning by DEP and immobilizing by on-chip fabrication, microstructure which contains 3 lines of yeast cells is fabricated in the microfluidic channel, inside PEG-DA and NaCl solution.
  • Automatic Flocking Manipulation of Micro Particles with Robot-Tweezers Technologies Authors: Chen, Haoyao; Sun, Dong
    Flocking of micro-scaled particles, attracts increasing attention especially in cell engineering and drug industry, due to its potential application for particle manipulation with high throughput and productivity. This paper presents an efficient approach to flocking micro particles with robotics and optical tweezers technologies. All particles trapped by optical tweezers can be gradually moved towards a pre-defined region. The main contribution of this paper lies in a solution to achieve the flocking manipulation of particles in micro environments. A local potential function is proposed to avoid collision amongst particles and obstacles. Based on the relationship amongst laser power, particle movement velocity, and trapping force, saturation of velocities is employed to bound particle velocities. In this way, the flocking manipulation can be operated with efficiency and safety. Experiments on yeast cells with a robot-tweezers system are finally performed to verify the effectiveness of the proposed approach.
  • Development of the Auto Manipulation System towards the Single Cell Automatic Analysis Inside an Environmental SEM Authors: shen, yajing; Nakajima, Masahiro; Di, Pei; Yue, Tao; Kojima, Seiji; Homma, Michio; Fukuda, Toshio
    In this paper, an automatic system for single cell analysis inside an environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM) was proposed. Single yeast cell was put on an tungsten probe substrate inside ESEM. The endeffector for single cell analysis was fixed to an nanorobotic manipulator, which has three degrees of freedom, i.e. X, Y and Z translation. The real time images during the experiment can be observed by ESEM system in realtime. Therefore, the position of the endeffector and the single cell can be recognized by imaging processing. These position information were used as the feedback signal to control the movement of the nanorobotic manipulator. Finally, a single cell cutting experiment was performed to demonstrate the working mechanism of this system. Two types of cell pattern substrates were also designed and fabricated as the cell analysis chips for the automation single cell analysis in the future.
  • μ -Cell Fatigue Test Authors: Fukui, Wataru; Kaneko, Makoto; Sakuma, Shinya; Kawahara, Tomohiro; Arai, Fumihito
    A new concept of micro-cell fatigue test is proposed. By reciprocating a cell across the throat of a micro channel repeatedly, the dynamic deformation behavior of the cell is measured. We define a new index of fatigue characteristics of cells as the number of reciprocatory motion leading to a prescribed recovery ratio. The test system is composed of a piezoelectric (PZT) actuator, a high speed vision sensor and a micro channel with a throat. Preliminary experiments were conducted by using Red Blood Cells (RBCs). The result suggested that the activation level of a cell can be evaluated based on its fatigue characteristics.

Human Like Biped Locamotion

  • Regulating Speed and Generating Large Speed Transitions in a Neuromuscular Human Walking Model Authors: Song, Seungmoon; Geyer, Hartmut
    Although current humanoid controllers can rely on inverse kinematics or dynamics of the full humanoid system, powered prosthetic legs or assistive devices cannot, because they do not have access to the full states of the human system. This limitation creates the need for alternative control strategies. One strategy is to embed fundamental knowledge about legged dynamics and control in local feedback. In a previous paper, we have developed a control model of human locomotion which relies mostly on local feedback. The model can robustly walk at normal walking speeds. Here we extend this model to adapt to a wide range of walking speeds and to generate corresponding speed transitions. We use optimization of the model's control parameters and find key parameters responsible for steady walking between 0.8<i>ms<sup>-1</sup></i> and 1.8<i>ms<sup>-1</sup></i>, covering the range of speed at which humans normally walk. Using these parameters, we demonstrate speed transitions between the slow and fast walking. In addition, we discuss how the speed-dependent changes of the identified control parameters connect to biped walking dynamics, and suggest how these changes can be integrated in local feedback control.
  • Using Basin Ruins and Co-Moving Low-Dimensional Latent Coordinates for Dynamic Programming of Biped Walkers on Roughing Ground Authors: Suetani, Hiromichi; Ideta, Aiko; Morimoto, Jun
    Disturbance rejection is one of the most important abilities required for biped walkers. In this study, we propose a method for dynamic programming of biped walking and apply it to a simple passive dynamic walker (PDW) on an irregular slope. The key of the proposed approach is to employ the transient dynamics of the walker just before approaching the falling state in the absence of any controlling input, and to derive the optimal control policy in the low-dimensional latent space. In recent our study, we found that such transient dynamics deeply relates to the basin of attraction for a stable gait. By patching coordinates to such a structures in each Poincar¥'{e} surface and defining the reward function according to the survive time of the transient dynamics, we can construct a Markov Decision Process (MDP) for describing the PDW with external inputs, and we obtain optimal value and policy using a notion of dynamic programming (DP). We will show that the proposed method actually succeeds in controlling the PDW even if the degree of disturbance is relatively large and the dimensionality of coordinates is reduced to lower ones.
  • Spatio-temporal Synchronization of Periodic Movements by Style-phase Adaptation: Application to Biped Walking Authors: Matsubara, Takamitsu; Uchikata, Akimasa; Morimoto, Jun
    In this paper, we propose a framework for generating coordinated periodic movements of robotic systems with external inputs. We developed an adaptive pattern generator model that is composed of a two-factor observation model with style parameter and phase dynamics with a phase variable. The style parameter controls the spatial patterns of the generated trajectories, and the phase variable controls its temporal profiles. To validate the effectiveness of our proposed method, we applied it to a simulated humanoid model to perform biped walking behaviors coordinated with observed walking patterns and the environment. The robot successfully performed stable biped walking behaviors even when the style of the observed walking pattern and the period were suddenly changed.
  • A Convex Approach to Inverse Optimal Control and Its Application to Modeling Human Locomotion Authors: Puydupin-Jamin, Anne-Sophie; Johnson, Miles; Bretl, Timothy
    Inverse optimal control is the problem of computing a cost function that would have resulted in an observed sequence of decisions. The standard formulation of this problem assumes that decisions are optimal and tries to minimize the difference between what was observed and what would have been observed given a candidate cost function. We assume instead that decisions are only approximately optimal and try to minimize the extent to which observed decisions violate first-order necessary conditions for optimality. For a discrete-time optimal control system with a cost function that is a linear combination of known basis functions, this formulation leads to an efficient method of solution as a single quadratic program. We apply this approach to both simulated and experimental data to obtain a simple model of human walking paths. This model might subsequently be used either for control of a humanoid robot or for predicting human motion when moving a robot through crowded areas.
  • A Simple Bipedal Walking Model Reproduces Entrainment of Human Locomotion Authors: Ahn, Jooeun; Klenk, Daniel; Hogan, Neville
    Robotic studies have suggested a contribution of limit-cycle oscillation of the neuro-mechanical periphery to human walking by demonstrating stable bipedal robotic gaits with minimal actuation and control. As behavioral evidence of limit-cycle oscillation in human walking, we recently reported entrainment of human gaits to mechanical perturbations. We observed synchronization of human walking with mechanical perturbation only when the perturbation period was close to the original walking period. In addition, the entrainment was always accompanied by phase locking at the end of double-stance. A highly-simplified state-determined walker reproduced these salient features: 1) entrainment to periodic perturbations with a narrow basin of entrainment and 2) phase-locking at the end of double stance. Importantly, the model required neither supra-spinal control nor an intrinsic self-sustaining neural oscillator (like a rhythmic central pattern generator), which suggests that prominent features of human walking may stem from simple afferent feedback processes that produce limit-cycle oscillation of the neuro-mechanical periphery without significant involvement of the brain or rhythmic central pattern generators. One limitation of that model was that it entrained only to perturbations faster than the unperturbed walking period. In the study reported here, we modified the model to have two independent steps per stride. The revised model reproduced entrainment to perturbations both slower
  • Motion Primitives for Human-Inspired Bipedal Robotic Locomotion: Walking and Stair Climbing Authors: Powell, Matthew; Huihua, Zhao; Ames, Aaron
    This paper presents an approach to the development of bipedal robotic control techniques for multiple locomotion behaviors. Insight into the fundamental behaviors of human locomotion is obtained through the examination of experimental human data for walking on flat ground, upstairs and downstairs. Specifically, it is shown that certain outputs of the human, independent of locomotion terrain, can be characterized by a single function, termed the extended canonical human function. Optimized functions of this form are tracked via feedback linearization in simulations of a planar robotic biped walking on flat ground, upstairs and downstairs - these three modes of locomotion are termed &quot;motion primitives&quot;. A second optimization is presented, which yields controllers that evolve the robot from one motion primitive to another - these modes of locomotion are termed &quot;motion transitions&quot;. A final simulation is given, which shows the controlled evolution of a robotic biped as it transitions through each mode of locomotion over a pyramidal staircase.

Embodied Soft Robots

  • Design and Development of a Soft Robotic Octopus Arm Exploiting Embodied Intelligence Authors: Cianchetti, Matteo; Follador, Maurizio; Mazzolai, Barbara; Dario, Paolo; Laschi, Cecilia
    The octopus is a marine animal whose body has no rigid structures. It has eight arms mainly composed of muscles organized in a peculiar structure, named muscular hydrostat, that can change stiffness and that is used as a sort of a modifiable skeleton. Furthermore, the morphology of the arms and the mechanical characteristics of their tissues are such that the interaction with the environment, namely water, is exploited to simplify the control of movements. From these considerations, the octopus emerges as a paradigmatic example of embodied intelligence and a good model for soft robotics. In this paper the design and the development of an artificial muscular hydrostat are reported, underling the efforts in the design and development of new technologies for soft robotics, like materials, mechanisms, soft actuators. The first prototype of soft robot arm is presented, with experimental results that show its capability to perform the basic movements of the octopus arm (like elongation, shortening, and bending) and demonstrate how embodiment can be effective in the design of robots.
  • The Application of Embodiment Theory to the Design and Control of an Octopus-Like Robotic Arm Authors: Guglielmino, Emanuele; Zullo, Letizia; Cianchetti, Matteo; Follador, Maurizio; Branson, David; Caldwell, Darwin G.
    This paper examines the design and control of a robotic arm inspired by the anatomy and neurophysiology of Octopus vulgaris in light of embodiment theory. Embodiment in an animal is defined as the dynamic coupling between sensory-motor control, anatomy, materials, and the environment that allows for the animal to achieve effective behaviour. Octopuses in particular are highly embodied and dexterous animals: their arms are fully flexible, can bend in any direction, grasp objects and modulate stiffness along their length. In this paper the biomechanics and neurophysiology of octopus have been analysed to extract relevant information for use in the design and control of an embodied soft robotic arm. The embodied design requirements are firstly defined, and how the biology of the octopus meets these requirements presented. Next, a prototype continuum arm and control architecture based on octopus biology, and meeting the design criteria, are presented. Finally, experimental results are presented to show how the developed prototype arm is able to reproduce motions performed by live octopus for contraction, elongation, bending, and grasping.
  • Dynamic Continuum Arm Model for Use with Underwater Robotic Manipulators Inspired by Octopus Vulgaris Authors: Zheng, Tianjiang; Branson, David; Kang, Rongjie; Cianchetti, Matteo; Guglielmino, Emanuele; Follador, Maurizio; Medrano-Cerda, Gustavo; Godage, Isuru S.; Caldwell, Darwin G.
    Continuum structures with a very high or infinite number of degrees of freedom (DOF) are very interesting structures in nature. Mimicking this kind of structures artificially is challenging due to the high number of required DOF. This paper presents a kinematic and dynamic model for an underwater robotic manipulator inspired by Octopus vulgaris. Then, a prototype arm inspired by live octopus is presented and the model validated experimentally. Initial comparisons of simulated and experimental results show good agreement.
  • Hydrodynamic Analysis of Octopus-Like Robotic Arms Authors: Kazakidi, Asimina; Vavourakis, Vasileios; Pateromichelakis, Nikolaos; Ekaterinaris, John A.; Tsakiris, Dimitris
    We consider robotic analogues of the arms of the octopus, a cephalopod exhibiting a wide variety of dexterous movements and complex shapes, moving in an aquatic environment. Although an invertebrate, the octopus can vary the stiffness of its long arms and generate large forces, while also performing rapid motions within its aquatic environment. Previous studies of elongated robotic systems, moving in fluid environments, have mostly oversimplified the effects of flow and the generated hydrodynamic forces, in their dynamical models. The present paper uses computational fluid dynamic (CFD) analysis to perform high-fidelity numerical simulations of robotic prototypes emulating the morphology of octopus arms. The direction of the flow stream and the arm geometry (e.g., the presence of suckers), were among the parameters that were shown to affect significantly the flow field structure and the resulting hydrodynamic forces, which have a non-uniform distribution along the arm. The CFD results are supported by vortex visualization experiments in a water tank. The results of this investigation are being exploited for the design of soft-bodied robotic systems and the development of related motion control strategies.
  • Design and Performance of Nubbed Fluidizing Jamming Grippers Authors: Kapadia, Jaimeen; Yim, Mark
    Grippers have been shown using jamming of granular media grasp a large range of objects by pushing against them (with an activation force) to conform the gripper to the object’s shape before grasping them with the intent to make universal grippers. This paper presents two effective modifications to jamming gripper designs (adding small nubs and fluidizing the granular media) resulting in significantly larger holding forces (typically 60%) and increasing the range of object geometries. The paper presents the design and fabrication of these devices and explores the range of objects and conditions empirically. Experiments also show that the nubs enable the grasping of smaller objects in which the gripper can engage interlocking forces in the granular media.