Research Topic

Advances in Mechatronics and Biomechanics towards Efficient Robot Actuation

About this Research Topic

Actuators are the core components of robots. In classical and precisely structured manufacturing applications with stationary and tethered industrial robots, actuators were designed to provide accurate and stiff as possible positioning of known payloads. The recent advent of new robotic application domains ...

Actuators are the core components of robots. In classical and precisely structured manufacturing applications with stationary and tethered industrial robots, actuators were designed to provide accurate and stiff as possible positioning of known payloads. The recent advent of new robotic application domains clearly renders this traditional actuation approach unsuitable.

The next generation of robots including field, service, and assistive robots are envisioned to operate in unstructured industrial, household or even undomesticated environments. This involves the versatile manipulation of random and potentially delicate but also possibly heavy objects of arbitrary shape and impedance properties, as well as the realization of intuitive, safe and dependable physical interaction of robots with untrained human users. Further scenarios include robotic system assisted human locomotion and robotic whole body loco-manipulation in unstructured, dynamic and possibly cluttered environments that feature also stairs and ladders requiring multi-contact exploitation. The novel applications along with closer human-robot interaction demand novel actuators which can demonstrate robustness and resilience, while enabling safe and dependable control of generated forces and smart rendering of the impedance displayed to the environment during physical interaction.

Today, force controlled actuators leverage passively compliant structural elements to feature active force and impedance control for physical interaction tasks. The technology readiness level has been recently approaching a maturity that ushers a growth in commercial availability of such actuation units. However, a great quantity of mechatronic challenges remains on the individual actuator level but more apparently on the whole robotic system level. Despite advances in battery technology, untethered operation times of robots and robotic devices range from several minutes to a few hours at maximum. Against the ongoing climate change, new energy directives dictate drastic efficiency improvements in the actuation of automated industrial production lines. While even commercially available single actuation units appear to be energetically more efficient than biological muscles, their assemblages as robotic systems are evidentially by far inferior to biological systems.

Against this background, the Topic solicits research articles on recent results in mechatronics and biomechanics with respect to design, analysis and control towards more efficient bioinspired actuation solutions. This includes:
* Efficient force/torque controlled actuator technology and concepts for
- Motion energy recuperation as well as,
- Exploitation of intrinsic resonance modes,
* Hydraulic, pneumatic or electrical motor technology advancements for efficient robots
* Variable stiffness, variable damping and variable impedance actuation, as well as clutched actuation mechanisms,
* Series, parallel as well as series-parallel elastic actuation,
* Efficient actuation concepts from single to multi DOF,
* Energy Economy of Human and Animals,
* Biomechanics of Human and Animal Locomotion,
* Force and Impedance regulation principles in Biological Systems,
* Bio-inspired actuation from mono to multi articulation,
* Design specifications, guidelines and performance requirements from single to multi DOF systems,
* Benchmarks and performance analysis of actuation concepts and systems for single and multi DOFs,

Targeted applications range from humanoid and legged robots to exoskeletons and wearable robots but also rehabilitation robots and other assistive robot devices.


Keywords: Energy Efficient Actuation Concepts, Actuator Modelling Design and Control, Force and Interaction Control, Energetics of human and animal actuation, Biologically inspired control


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Recent Articles

Loading..

About Frontiers Research Topics

With their unique mixes of varied contributions from Original Research to Review Articles, Research Topics unify the most influential researchers, the latest key findings and historical advances in a hot research area! Find out more on how to host your own Frontiers Research Topic or contribute to one as an author.

Topic Editors

Loading..

Submission Deadlines

17 November 2017 Manuscript
22 December 2017 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

Loading..

Topic Editors

Loading..

Submission Deadlines

17 November 2017 Manuscript
22 December 2017 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

Loading..
Loading..

total views article views article downloads topic views

}
 
Top countries
Top referring sites
Loading..

Comments

Loading..

Add a comment

Add comment
Back to top