The main research topics of the Robotics & Multibody Mechanics (R&MM) research group can be divided into physical human-robot interaction (pHRI) and cognitive HRI (cHRI). Core technology since 1995 is the design and control of variable impedance actuators for embodied intelligence principles as safety, energy efficiency and adaptability. Most of the prototypes build in the lab are designed and constructed in-house. Two new actuators were developed by the group: the Pleated Pneumatic Artificial Muscle, and the patented Maccepa. The bipedal walking robot Lucy and Veronica were built to investigate the use of compliant actuation for walking robots while. A manipulator-arm "Softarm", actuated with PPAM, is designed to be used in direct contact with a human. Both the actuation principle and control architecture are focused on a safe human-robot interaction. Probo is developed by R&MM as an intelligent huggable robot emotionally interacting with hospitalised children and serve as robotic test platform to study cognitive and physical HRI. Different experiments with Probo and children autism have been performed and showed a more efficient therapy compared to a human. The robot is powered by series elastic actuators to ensure intrinsic safety and the soft and huggable appearance. R&MM is also active in rehabilitation devices (step rehabilitation robot ALTACTO and KNEXO) and prostheses (ankle-feet prosthesis AMPfoot 1 and 2 and trans femoral prosthesis HEKTA). The group is in different EU and national projects.
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This video collects an overview of some of our robots:
We won the IROS 2012 Jubilee video award
Dissertation available in STAR book
Bram Vanderborght is author of the book Dynamic Stabilisation of the Biped Lucy Powered by
Actuators with Controllable Stiffness in the Springer series "STAR-Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics". More info on the Lucy project can be found on our Lucy site.
Price: 119,95 €
2010. 307 p. 111 illus. in color. (Springer Tracts
in Advanced Robotics, Vol. 63) Hardcover
We are pleased to anounce that the Robotics & Multibody Mechanics Research Group participates in the European 7th framework STREP-project
titled Variable Impedance Actuation Systems Embodying Advanced Interaction Behaviours (VIACTORS), in cooperation with
DLR (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt), University of Pisa,
University of Twente, Imperial College London and the IIT (Italian Institute of Technology).
VIACTORS addresses the development and use of safe, energy-efficient and highly dynamic variable impedance
actuation (VIA) systems, which will permit the embodiment of natural characteristics found in biological systems, into
the structures of a new generation of mechatronic systems.
The paper titled "Energy-efficient humanoid walking with ankle actuation: Learning from biomechanics"
by Rino Versluys, Bram Vanderborght,
Ronald Van Ham, Pieter Beyl,
Pierre Cherelle and Dirk Lefeber has received the Best Paper Award in the category of
"Walking Robots" at the 11th International Conference on Climbing and Walking Robots and the Support Technologies for
Mobile Machines (CLAWAR 2008).
Robotboek "Robots Binnenstebuiten"
Bram Vanderborght is author of the science popularizing book "Robots Binnenstebuiten" for children from 10 years. The book is written in Dutch and will launched in September 2008. More info