Design and Control of Self-Sensing Actuators for Soft Robotics

A special issue of Actuators (ISSN 2076-0825). This special issue belongs to the section "Actuators for Robotics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2022) | Viewed by 3361

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Engineering Mathematics, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1TL, UK
Interests: soft robotics; bio-mimetics; smart materials; artificial muscles; artificial intelligence; tactile sensing; tactile stimulation
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Guest Editor
Department of Robotics, Ritsumeikan University, Noji-higashi 1-1-1, Kusatsu, Shiga 525-8577, Japan
Interests: soft robotics; soft sensors; tactile sensing
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Guest Editor
Department of Bioengineering, Imperial College London, London W12 0BZ, UK
Interests: multi-functional transducers; soft robotics; micro robotics; smart materials
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Guest Editor
School of Engineering and Informatics, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton BN1 9RH, UK
Interests: soft robotics; soft proprioception; electroactive technologies
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Soft robotics, with an intrinsic softness of body, allows for the design of multifunctional robotic components that enable adaptable and flexible behavior in varying and unpredictable environments. Traditional discrete component assembly approaches contrast with those of soft robotics, where soft monolithic systems commonly exploit imprecise and graded borders between functional modules. This approach not only tackles the associated fabrication challenges, such as the integration of dissimilar materials, but also paves the way to embed distributed computation to meet challenging control of multi-DOF soft materials while tracking their precise shape and position changes. Self-sensing actuators, as a new generation of multifunctional components, offer a flexible approach to the development of integrated actuators and sensors. Self-sensing actuators refer to a class of actuators in which the sensing functionalities is incorporated through i) embedding additional sensing components including smart materials and structures to extract proprioceptive and exteroceptive information, or ii) employing actuators with intrinsic sensing capabilities detected through signal modulation and further analysis at the control unit to identify the actuation movement. The objective of this joint Special Issue between the two journals Sensors and Actuators is to promote a deeper understanding of various approaches for the integration of sensors and actuators in soft robotics. We aim to shed light on the state-of-the-art solutions not only in materials and fabrications, but also in signal analysis and control of the soft sensory actuators.

Topics of interests include the following:

  • Artificial muscles with embedded proprioceptive sensors and electronics
  • Artificial muscles with embedded bio/chemo/mechano/electro/photo sensors for environmental perception
  • Driving/measurement electronics and signal analysis for self-sensing actuators
  • Novel multi-material fabrications including 3D printing of sensorized actuators
  • Modeling and simulation of proprioceptive/exteroceptive artificial muscles
  • Model-based closed-loop control of self-sensing actuators
  • Learning control of self-sensing actuators

You may choose our Joint Special Issue in Sensors.

Prof. Jonathan Rossiter
Prof. Shinichi Hirai
Dr. Majid Taghavi
Dr. Hareesh Godaba
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Actuators is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • soft robotics
  • self-sensing actuator
  • integrated transducer
  • sensory actuator
  • proprioceptive artificial muscle
  • multifunctional transducer
  • signal processing
  • closed-loop control
  • model-free control

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

19 pages, 3973 KiB  
Article
Improvement of Torque Estimation for Series Viscoelastic Actuator Based on Dual Extended Kalman Filter
by Hui Wei, Kui Xiang, Haibo Chen, Biwei Tang and Muye Pang
Actuators 2021, 10(10), 258; https://doi.org/10.3390/act10100258 - 30 Sep 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2062
Abstract
Adding damping such as viscoelastic element in series elastic actuators (SEA) can improve the force control bandwidth of the system and suppression of high frequency oscillations induced by the environment. Thanks to such advantages, series viscoelastic actuators (SVA) have recently gained increasing research [...] Read more.
Adding damping such as viscoelastic element in series elastic actuators (SEA) can improve the force control bandwidth of the system and suppression of high frequency oscillations induced by the environment. Thanks to such advantages, series viscoelastic actuators (SVA) have recently gained increasing research interests from the community of robotic device design. Due to the inconvenience of mounting torque sensors, employing the viscoelastic elements to directly estimate the output torque is of great significance regarding the real-world applications of SVA. However, the nonlinearity and time-varying properties of viscoelastic materials would degrade the torque estimation accuracy. In such a case, it is paramount to simultaneously estimate the output torque state and viscoelastic model coefficients in order to enhance the torque estimation accuracy. To this end, this paper first completed the design of a rubber-based SVA device and used the Zenner linear viscoelastic model to model the viscoelastic element of the rubber. Subsequently, this paper proposed a dual extended Kalman filter- (DEFK) based torque estimation method to estimate the output torque and viscoelastic model coefficients simultaneously. The noisy observations of two Kalman filters were provided by motor current-based estimated torque. Moreover, the dynamic friction of harmonic drive of the designed SVA was modeled and compensated to enhance the reliability of current-based torque estimation. Finally, a number of experiments were carried out on SVA, and the experimental results confirmed the DEFK effectiveness of improving torque estimation accuracy compared to only-used rubber and only-used motor current torque estimation methods. Thus, the proposed method could be considered as an effective alternative approach of torque estimation for SVA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design and Control of Self-Sensing Actuators for Soft Robotics)
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