Robots are frequently applied in industry and much research is done on many places on extending its use in more domestic environments where contact with people cannot be avoided. This poses severe constraints on safety but also on reliability and precision of operation. The focal point of our research is on precision and in principle a modern industrial robot is a real precision instrument by virtue of an extremely stiff construction and powerful actuation systems with a fast and accurate controller. These are all factors that reduce the safety in a human environment for which reasons more lightweight, compliant structures are preferred with soft edges and low-stiffness control and this all comes at a sacrifice in precision.
The research in our group focuses on the goal to achieve precision in lightweight robots without sacrificing safety.
One example of this research is a haptic master-slave robot for micro-assembly of miniaturised parts. The haptic master should be compatible with the human operator without the possibility to cause harm but also without sacrifice on precision. This research has resulted in new mechanisms where the actuation and sensing is remote from the human operator and where the lowest mass is possible.
Optimal haptic master
The objective of this research is to develop principles for optimal mechatronics design of haptic parallel master devices. See the link for more details.
Wearable arm orthosis
This project project aims to develop an inconspicuous body-bound assistive device that can be worn underneath clothing and supports the arm for the independent execution of essential activities of daily living.