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IEEE RCAR 2017 Best Conference Paper Award

2017-08-01

The IEEE International Conference on Real-time Computing and Robotics (RCAR) is an annual event bringing researchers worldwide to exchange and present their latest research results in robotics, in particular for those applications involving advanced computing. In 2017, the RCAR was held at Okinawa, Japan, from 14 to 18 July.

In this RCAR, the HKU ME team led by Dr. Ka-Wai Kwok was awarded the best conference paper (out of 110 papers), in regards to their novel design of an FEM-based control framework for hyper-elastic continuum robot. This work has successfully demonstrated precise and robust manipulation of the robot by rapid compensation of the motion error due to unknown dynamic disturbances. The developed control framework can potentially be adopted in various soft/continuum robotic applications such as endoscopic navigation for minimally invasive surgeries.

The HKU team comprised four ME research postgraduate students: Brian K.H. Lee, Martin C.W. Leong, Marco C.K. Chow, Jacky H.C. Fu, together with a postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Denny K.C. Fu. It was also a great pleasure to have knowledge input from multidisciplinary collaborators, including Prof. Wayne Luk (Computing at Imperial College London), Prof. K.Y.Sze (ME at HKU) and Prof. C.Y. Yeung (Surgery at HKU and Bio-Medical Engineering (HK) Ltd). 

The finite element method (Left) was adopted to simulate the nonlinear deformation characteristics exhibited in the actual configurations of the soft manipulator (Right).

The proposed FEM-based control framework for soft/continuum robot is capable of following a user-defined trajectory (blue line) with high precision, even under unknown disturbance.