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 using 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 algorithms based on the FEM model to obtain the best possible treatment of the information. The final objective 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.