The Nazarbayev University School of Engineering and Digital Sciences invites you to the research seminar “Motion Planning and Control of Tensegrity Robots”.
Presenter: Matteo Rubagotti, Associate Professor, Department of Robotics Engineering, NU SEDS
Date: 1 February 2023
Time: 2 pm
Venue: Block 3, Room 3.416
Matteo Rubagotti received his Ph.D. degree in Electronics, Computer Science, and Electrical Engineering from the University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy, in 2010. He was Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Trento, Trento, Italy, and at IMT Institute for Advanced Studies, Lucca, Italy, Assistant Professor of Robotics and Mechatronics at Nazarbayev University, and Lecturer in Control Engineering at the University of Leicester, Leicester, UK. Since 2018, he has been an
Associate Professor of Robotics and Mechatronics at Nazarbayev University. His current research interests include numerical optimal control, model predictive control and sliding mode control, and their applications to robotics and mechatronics (in particular, physical human-robot interaction and tensegrity robots). Dr. Rubagotti is Subject Editor of the International Journal of Robust and Nonlinear Control, and member of the conference editorial boards of the IEEE Control System Society and of the European Control Association
ABSTRACT: The term “tensegrity”, introduced by architect Buckminister Fuller, originates from the conjunction of the words “tension” and “integrity”. Tensegrities are prestressable structures consisting of compression elements (bars) connected through tension elements (strings). They are often found in nature: for instance, musculoskeletal systems of animals and molecular structures of spider fibers can be considered as tensegrities. Traditionally, a mechanical structure (e.g., a building or an aircraft wing) is made of orthogonal rigid elements, which do not usually yield the minimal mass design for a given set of stiffness properties, and thus have to be overdesigned to deal with loads in many different directions. On the contrary, the most important characteristic of tensegrity structures is the absence (or, in practice, the negligible amount) of bending and shear forces, so that their structural elements are exposed only to unidirectional loads, and can achieve a very high strength with small mass.
By actuating the strings using electric motors, these structures can potentially be used to build robot manipulators with a much higher payload-to-weight ratio than state-of-the-art industrial manipulators (e.g., 0.8 vs 0.15). However, given the difficulty in devising motion planning and control algorithms for such complex structures, the use of tensegrities as robot manipulators is still very limited. Indeed, modeling these systems for control purposes requires the use of tens (or even hundreds) of state variables with strongly nonlinear dynamics, and this model must be used to design a control strategy that can act within a few milliseconds. Another challenging problem related to that of closed-loop control is state estimation, which is also needed if these control strategies are to be applied in real-world scenarios.
This talk will describe the advances on this topic within the FDCRGP “Motion Planning and Control of Tensegrity Robots”. The presentation will focus on a method to estimate the end-effector position and orientation in a tensegrity structure, on a general framework for approximating Model Predictive Control laws for fast execution, and on the application of this framework to tensegrities.
Professor Essam Shehab, Head of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, invites you to Rolls-Royce on-line presentation “Rolls-Royce: Pioneers of Power”
Speaker: Professor Mark Halliwell, Rolls-Royce UK
Date: Wednesday, 1st February 2023
Time: 15:00 – 16:00
Venue: MS Teams