Soft robot gripper
Compliant robotics and stiffness controllable soft robotic grippers/hands (Dr. YH. Chen)
Soft robotics is a new trend in robotics research, where soft and compliant mechanisms replace the traditional rigid robots to gain extra adaptability and safety features. Soft robots are more promising candidates in human-centred applications including wearable, cooperation, service, assistive scenarios. We are developing a wide range of soft robotic grippers and hands, especially with the ability to control the stiffness to achieve desirable compliance during interaction tasks.
High-performance Flexible and Continuum Robot Systems (Dr. KW. Kwok)
One of the major projects taking place in the laboratory for interventional robotic and imaging system (IRIS) is to develop a new type of robots constructed with deformable and elastic structures/materials, providing not only rich intrinsic passive mechanical dynamics, but also high number of degree of freedom (DoF). Just over the last few years, robotics scientists have started evaluating its manufacturing benchmarking, safety and applications. This novel continuum robotic structure poses high impact for robotic tasks operated in dynamically-unstructured environment for applications, such as minimally invasive surgeries including cardiovascular catheterization, and transluminal/intracavitary endoscopy, or even for search-and-rescue mission in debris, which require for flexible and dexterous access to the spatially-confined region. In this project, various novel control frameworks for tele-manipulation of flexible continuum robot have been developed. We have also engaged in formulating a real-time locomotion control scheme that can incorporate with online sensing data of the compliance actuation units. Detailed quantitative performance evaluation will be conducted in simulated scenarios with the aim to demonstrate the practical value of our proposed locomotion mechanism.
Bionic robots and actuators
Bionics is the science of imitating nature. With abundant examples of creatures resulting from millions of years of natural revolution, roboticists could take inspiration (or sometimes direct copy) to robot design. Here in the Bionic and Control Lab we take cues from nature into the design and fabrication of soft bionic robotic actuators and robotic systems, which have the ability to explore and interact within natural terrain, at low computational and fabrication costs. These kinds of bionic robots are soft and compliant in nature, driven by fluid or other flexible means, with minimum rigid components. They are inherently safe to humans and other surrounding objects, while being capable in performing daily interactive tasks.