Section: Research Program

Objective 2: Model based control of soft robot behavior

The focus of this objective is on obtaining a generic methodology for soft robot feedback control. Several steps are needed to design a model based control from FEM approach:

  • The fundamental question of the kinematic link between actuators, sensors, effectors and contacts us- ing the most reduced mathematical space must be carefully addressed. We need to find efficient algorithms for real-time projection of non-linear FEM models in order to pose the control problem using the only relevant parameters of the motion control.

  • Intuitive remote control is obtained when the user directly controls the effector motion. To add this functionality, we need to obtain real-time inverse models of the soft robots by optimisation. Several criteria will be combined in this optimisation: effector motion control, structural stiffness of the robot, reduce intensity of the contact with the environment...

  • Investigating closed-loop approaches using sensor feedback: as sensors cannot monitor all points of the deformable structure, the information provided will only be partial. We will need additional algo- rithms based on the FEM model to obtain the best possible treatment of the information. The final ob- jective of these models and algorithms is to have robust and efficient feedback control strategies for soft robots. One of the main challenge here is to ensure / prove stability in closed-loop.