Team, Visitors, External Collaborators
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Research Program
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Highlights of the Year
New Software and Platforms
New Results
Bilateral Contracts and Grants with Industry
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Section: New Results

Calibration and External Force Sensing for Soft Robots using an RGB-D Camera

Benefiting from the deformability of soft robots, calibration and force sensing for soft robots are possible using an external vision-based system, instead of embedded mechatronic force sensors. In this work, we first propose a calibration method to calibrate both the sensor-robot coordinate system and the actuator inputs. This task is addressed through a sequential optimization problem for both variables. We also introduce an external force sensing system based on a real-time Finite Element (FE) model with the assumption of static configurations, and which consists of two steps: force location detection and force intensity computation. The algorithm that estimates force location relies on the segmentation of the point cloud acquired by an RGB-D camera. Then, the force intensities can be computed by solving an inverse quasi-static problem based on matching the FE model with the point cloud of the soft robot. As for validation, the proposed strategies for calibration and force sensing have been tested using a parallel soft robot driven by four cables (see figure 6 and reference  [18]).

Figure 6. Screenshot of external force sensing. The robot has four cables with constant length for the experiment. (a) and (c) show one external force on the actuated soft robot. (b) and (d) show case with two external forces.