Section: Research Program

Objective 3: Modeling the interaction with a complex environment

Even if the inherent mechanical compliance of soft robots makes them more safe, robust and particularly adapted to interaction with fragile environments, the contact forces need to be controlled by:

  • Setting up real-time modelling and the control methods needed to pilot the forces that the robot im- poses on its environment and to control the robot deformations imposed by its environment. Note that if an operative task requires to apply forces on the surrounding structures, the robot must be anchored to other structures or structurally rigidified.

  • Providing mechanics models of the environment that include the uncertainties on the geometry and on the mechanical properties, and are capable of being readjusted in real-time.

  • Using the visual feedback of the robot behavior to adapt dynamically the models. The observation provided in the image coupled with an inverse accurate model of the robot could transform the soft robot into sensor: as the robot deforms with the contact of the surroundings, we could retrieve some missing parameters of the environment by a smart monitoring of the robot deformations.