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Applied Math Seminar – Vishesh Vikas (University of Alabama)
April 6, 2018 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Title: Applied Mathematics for Soft Robotics
Abstract: Soft materials are a bulk or composite collection of matter that undergoes deformations of similar or greater magnitude than the deformation of the environment, either plastically or elastically, within the force regime applied by its environment. For roboticists, soft materials can withstand impacts, are elastic and highly deformable, have ability to change dimensions and economically cheap. These attributes makes them applicable to fields of disaster relief, search and rescue, elder care, space robotics and precision agriculture. The talk focuses on three topics relating to control of terrestrial soft continuum robots, complexities in modeling of compliant tensegrity mechanisms and state estimation using sensor placement. Model-free control framework is a data-driven ‘environment-centric’ framework that allows robots to behave in unknown surroundings – learn, adapt and thereafter navigate. Compliant tensegrity mechanisms combine compliance of springs with adaptability of traditional tensegrity mechanisms – the resulting equilibrium equations are highly nonlinear and display very interesting behavior which can be exploited (energy efficient or most robust paths). Finally, the use of multiple economically cheap, noisy sensors to obtain precision state estimates has challenges that need to be examined.