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Robotics, IEEE Transactions on

Issue 4 • Date Aug. 2012

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Displaying Results 1 - 25 of 27
  • Table of contents

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): C1
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  • IEEE Transactions on Robotics publication information

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): C2
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  • The Smooth Curvature Model: An Efficient Representation of Euler–Bernoulli Flexures as Robot Joints

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 761 - 772
    Cited by:  Papers (3)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1146 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper presents a new method to produce computationally efficient models of robots that have planar elastic flexure joints. An accurate, low-dimensional model of large deformation bending is important to precisely describe the configuration of a flexure-jointed manipulator. The new model is based on the assumption that the curvature of a beam in bending is smooth and, thus, can be approximated by low-order polynomials. This produces a description of flexure motion that can be used as a joint model when expressed as a homogeneous transformation between rigid links--essentially a “drop in” replacement for traditional joint models such as screw coordinates and Denavit-Hartenberg conventions. Derivatives of the joint kinematics such as Jacobians and Hessians are accurate and easy to compute. We will show that with only three parameters, this model faithfully reproduces the elastic deformation of a flexure hinge predicted by the continuum model, even for large angles, without requiring numerical integration or many finite elements. The model can also be used to accurately compute the compliance and compressive buckling load of the flexure, as predicted by the continuum model. View full abstract»

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  • Enhanced Operational Space Formulation for Multiple Tasks by Using Time-Delay Estimation

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 773 - 786
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1122 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    The operational space formulation (OSF) has been enhanced from a practical viewpoint through the application of the time-delay estimation (TDE). In principle, the OSF enables an excellent decentralized control owing to its ability to achieve dynamic consistency. In reality, however, it can suffer from modeling errors and relatively large computational demands. As a remedy for these problems, the OSF has been combined with the TDE, which is known for its accurate estimation of robot dynamics with high computational efficiency. By virtue of the TDE, the OSF with the TDE (OSFTDE) shows enhanced accuracy in terms of dynamic consistency and control performance along with enhanced computational efficiency. Through simple but obvious simulations and experiments, the OSFTDE shows much better accuracy than the OSF with modeling error of 5% or higher, although accuracy is slightly worse than the OSF with a perfect model, thereby demonstrating its practical advantages. View full abstract»

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  • Lagrangian Modeling of the Magnetization and the Magnetic Torque on Assembled Soft-Magnetic MEMS Devices for Fast Computation and Analysis

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 787 - 797
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (803 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    We apply the Lagrangian technique to compute and analyze the magnetization and the magnetic torque on soft-magnetic shape-dominant structures. The main advantages are the considerable reduction of the computation time, constant computation times across the saturation limits, and a closed-form description of the magnetization in both the linear and the saturation region. The analysis of the Lagrange multiplier allows, for the first time, the analytic prediction of the evolution of the magnetic torque as a function of the direction and magnitude of the applied field. In addition, it allows one to quantify the saturation state of a body, which is then used to predict the torque on assembled structures where the classic method fails. The results are verified by experiments and finite element analysis. View full abstract»

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  • Visually Servoing Magnetic Intraocular Microdevices

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 798 - 809
    Cited by:  Papers (5)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (6540 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Dexterous manipulation of intraocular microrobotic devices has the potential to significantly augment ophthalmic surgeons' capabilities. Microrobots can be employed for targeted drug delivery and for procedures such as retinal-vein cannulation that require a high degree of dexterity. For precise externally generated magnetic control of microdevices, their position in the magnetic field is needed. Since the interior of the human eye is externally observable, computer-vision techniques can be used for localization. In this paper, the complex optics of the human eye are taken into account, and an algorithm that localizes microrobotic devices based on their 3-D structure is proposed. The sensitivity of the algorithm with respect to uncertainties in optical parameters is evaluated. A human-like model eye is designed and fabricated for experiments, precision analysis is performed, and the algorithm is used for visual servoing. View full abstract»

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  • Robotic Router Formation in Realistic Communication Environments

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 810 - 827
    Cited by:  Papers (6)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1346 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    In this paper, we consider the problem of robotic router formation, where two nodes need to maintain their connectivity over a large area by using a number of mobile routers. We are interested in the robust operation of such networks in realistic communication environments that naturally experience path loss, shadowing, and multipath fading. We propose a probabilistic router formation and motion-planning approach by integrating our previously proposed stochastic channel learning framework with robotic router optimization. We furthermore consider power constraints of the network, including both communication and motion costs, and characterize the underlying tradeoffs. Instead of taking the common approach of formation optimization through maximization of the Fiedler eigenvalue, we take a different approach and use the end-to-end bit error rate (BER) as our performance metric. We show that the proposed framework results in a different robotic configuration, with a considerably better performance, as compared with only considering disk models for communication and/or maximizing the Fielder eigenvalue. Finally, we show the performance with a simple preliminary experiment, with an emphasis on the impact of localization errors. Along this line, we show interesting interplays between the localization quality and the channel correlation/learning quality. View full abstract»

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  • Robust Cooperative Exploration With a Switching Strategy

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 828 - 839
    Cited by:  Papers (8)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (888 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Biological inspirations have lead us to develop a switching strategy for a group of robotic sensing agents searching for a local minimum of an unknown noisy scalar field. Starting with individual exploration, the agents switch to cooperative exploration only when they are not able to converge to a local minimum at a satisfying rate. We derive a cooperative H filter that provides estimates of field values and field gradients during cooperative exploration and give sufficient conditions for the convergence and feasibility of the filter. The switched behavior from individual exploration to cooperative exploration results in faster convergence, which is rigorously justified by the Razumikhin theorem, to a local minimum. We propose that the switching condition from cooperative exploration to individual exploration is triggered by a significantly improved signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) during cooperative exploration. In addition to theoretical and simulation studies, we develop a multiagent testbed and implement the switching strategy in a lab environment. We have observed consistency of theoretical predictions and experimental results, which are robust to unknown noises and communication delays. View full abstract»

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  • Distributed Consensus on Robot Networks for Dynamically Merging Feature-Based Maps

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 840 - 854
    Cited by:  Papers (12)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (806 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    In this paper, we study the feature-based map merging problem in robot networks. While in operation, each robot observes the environment and builds and maintains a local map. Simultaneously, each robot communicates and computes the global map of the environment. Communication between robots is range-limited. We propose a dynamic strategy, based on consensus algorithms, that is fully distributed and does not rely on any particular communication topology. Under mild connectivity conditions on the communication graph, our merging algorithm, asymptotically, converges to the global map. We present a formal analysis of its convergence rate and provide accurate characterizations of the errors as a function of the timestep. The proposed approach has been experimentally validated using real visual information. View full abstract»

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  • Estimation of Multivehicle Dynamics by Considering Contextual Information

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 855 - 870
    Cited by:  Papers (6)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (901 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Human drivers are endowed with an inborn ability to put themselves in the position of other drivers and reason about their behavior and intended actions. State-of-the-art driving-assistance systems, on the other hand, are generally limited to physical models and ad hoc safety rules. In order to drive safely amongst humans, autonomous vehicles need to develop an understanding of the situation in the form of a high-level description of the state of traffic participants. This paper presents a probabilistic model to estimate the state of vehicles by considering interactions between drivers immersed in traffic. The model is defined within a probabilistic filtering framework; estimation and prediction are carried out with statistical inference techniques. Memory requirements increase linearly with the number of vehicles, and thus, it is possible to scale the model to complex scenarios involving many participants. The approach is validated using real-world data collected by a group of interacting ground vehicles. View full abstract»

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  • Robust Place Recognition With Stereo Sequences

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 871 - 885
    Cited by:  Papers (10)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1592 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    We propose a place recognition algorithm for simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) systems using stereo cameras that considers both appearance and geometric information of points of interest in the images. Both near and far scene points provide information for the recognition process. Hypotheses about loop closings are generated using a fast appearance-only technique based on the bag-of-words (BoW) method. We propose several important improvements to BoWs that profit from the fact that, in this problem, images are provided in sequence. Loop closing candidates are evaluated using a novel normalized similarity score that measures similarity in the context of recent images in the sequence. In cases where similarity is not sufficiently clear, loop closing verification is carried out using a method based on conditional random fields (CRFs). We build on CRF matching with two main novelties: We use both image and 3-D geometric information, and we carry out inference on a minimum spanning tree (MST), instead of a densely connected graph. Our results show that MSTs provide an adequate representation of the problem, with the additional advantages that exact inference is possible and that the computational cost of the inference process is limited. We compare our system with the state of the art using visual indoor and outdoor data from three different locations and show that our system can attain at least full precision (no false positives) for a higher recall (fewer false negatives). View full abstract»

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  • Automatic Visual Bag-of-Words for Online Robot Navigation and Mapping

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 886 - 898
    Cited by:  Papers (3)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1208 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Detecting already-visited regions based on their visual appearance helps reduce drift and position uncertainties in robot navigation and mapping. Inspired from content-based image retrieval, an efficient approach is the use of visual vocabularies to measure similarities between images. This way, images corresponding to the same scene region can be associated. State-of-the-art proposals that address this topic use prebuilt vocabularies that generally require a priori knowledge of the environment. We propose a novel method for appearance-based navigation and mapping where the visual vocabularies are built online, thus eliminating the need for prebuilt data. We also show that the proposed technique allows efficient loop-closure detection, even at small vocabulary sizes, resulting in a higher computational efficiency. View full abstract»

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  • Physical Human Interactive Guidance: Identifying Grasping Principles From Human-Planned Grasps

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 899 - 910
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (614 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    We present a novel and simple experimental method called physical human interactive guidance to study human-planned grasping. Instead of studying how the human uses his/her own biological hand or how a human teleoperates a robot hand in a grasping task, the method involves a human interacting physically with a robot arm and hand, carefully moving and guiding the robot into the grasping pose, while the robot's configuration is recorded. Analysis of the grasps from this simple method has produced two interesting results. First, the grasps produced by this method perform better than grasps generated through a state-of-the-art automated grasp planner. Second, this method when combined with a detailed statistical analysis using a variety of grasp measures (physics-based heuristics considered critical for a good grasp) offered insights into how the human grasping method is similar or different from automated grasping synthesis techniques. Specifically, data from the physical human interactive guidance method showed that the human-planned grasping method provides grasps that are similar to grasps from a state-of-the-art automated grasp planner, but differed in one key aspect. The robot wrists were aligned with the object's principal axes in the human-planned grasps (termed low skewness in this paper), while the automated grasps used arbitrary wrist orientation. Preliminary tests show that grasps with low skewness were significantly more robust than grasps with high skewness (77-93%). We conclude with a detailed discussion of how the physical human interactive guidance method relates to existing methods to extract the human principles for physical interaction. View full abstract»

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  • A Crane-Based Robotic Device for Operating Inside Storage Cells

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 911 - 921
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1675 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper presents a new robotic device whose main objective is to increase the flexibility of current systems used to carry out inspection and manipulation of spent nuclear fuel inside dry storage unit cells. Instead of using a rigid kinematic chain, the proposed device is based on the idea of a capsule that can be deployed inside a cell with the appropriate tool by means of a conventional crane and cable. The device is equipped with extendable actuators that immobilize the whole system inside the cell by pushing against the walls. This provides a stable platform for those tools that have to execute precision tasks. The system also comprises an industrial tool changer that allows the deployment of the required tool for each specific task. A first prototype of the device and a tool to retrieve spent nuclear fuel were built, and the results of the initial experiments are reported at the end of this paper. View full abstract»

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  • Design of a Cable-Driven Arm Exoskeleton (CAREX) for Neural Rehabilitation

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 922 - 931
    Cited by:  Papers (14)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (892 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Rehabilitation robots are, currently, being explored for training of neural impaired subjects or for assistance of those with weak limbs. Intensive training of neurally impaired subjects, with quantifiable outcomes, is the eventual goal of these robot exoskeletons. Conventional arm exoskeletons for rehabilitation are bulky and heavy. In recent years, the authors have proposed to make lightweight exoskeletons for rehabilitation by replacing the rigid links of the exoskeleton with lightweight cuffs fixed to the moving limb segments of the human arm. Cables are routed through these cuffs, which are driven by motors, to move the limb segments relative to each other. However, a scientific limitation of a cable-driven system is that each cable can only pull but not push. This paper is the first to demonstrate via experiments with cable-driven arm exoskeleton (CAREX) that it is possible to achieve desired forces on the hand, i.e., both pull and push, in any direction as required in neural training. In this research, an anthropomorphic arm was used to bench test the design and control concepts proposed in CAREX. As described in this paper, CAREX was attached to the limb segments of a five degree-of-freedom anthropomorphic arm instrumented with joint sensors. The cuffs of CAREX were designed to have adjustable cable routing points to optimize the “tensioned” workspace of the anthropomorphic arm. Simulation results of force field for training and rehabilitation of the arm are first presented. Experiments are conducted to show the performance of a CAREX force field controller when human subjects pull the end-effector of the anthropomorphic arm to travel on prescribed paths. The human-exoskeleton interface is also presented at the end of this paper to demonstrate the feasibility of CAREX on human arm. View full abstract»

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  • Design and Evaluation of 2-DOF Compliant Forceps With Force-Sensing Capability for Minimally Invasive Robot Surgery

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 932 - 941
    Cited by:  Papers (4)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (944 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    In this paper, a novel concept of two-degree-of-freedom (2-DOF) compliant forceps is suggested for the measure of pulling and grasp forces at the tip of surgical instrument for minimally invasive surgery robot. For the design of the compliant forceps, the required compliance characteristics are first defined using a simple spring model with one linear and one torsional springs. This model may be directly realized as the compliant forceps. However, for the compact realization of the mechanism, we synthesize the spring model with two torsional springs that has equivalent compliance characteristics to the linear-torsional spring model. Then, each of the synthesized torsional springs is realized physically by means of a flexure hinge. From this design approach, direct measurement of the pulling and grasp forces is possible at the forceps, and measuring sensitivity can be adjusted in the synthesis process. The validity of the design is evaluated by finite element analysis. Further, from the measured values of bending strains of two flexure hinges, a method to compute the decoupled pulling and grasp forces is presented via the theory of screws. Finally, force-sensing performance of the proposed compliant forceps is verified from the experiments of the prototype using some weights and load cells. View full abstract»

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  • GyroLock: Stabilizing the Heart With Control Moment Gyroscope (CMG)—From Concept to First In Vivo Assessments

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 942 - 954
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Multimedia
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (4437 KB)  

    We present herein an original solution to actively stabilize the epicardium in the context of beating-heart coronary artery bypass grafting. Our solution uses a control moment gyroscope to generate the compensation torque and an accelerometer for sensing. This approach makes the designed system completely independent from the stabilizing instrument, as well as independent from any external measurement. We compare two control approaches in a simulation: The first one uses a Kalman filter with a harmonic disturbance model, and the second one uses an adaptive algorithm. Results highlight the superiority of the adaptive control for our application. The first in vivo assessments are presented, showing the efficiency of the principle under real conditions. Using only accelerometric measurements, targeted cardiac motion harmonics are reduced on the order of 68%. With an optical sensor, the reduction exceeds 90%. This constitutes an improvement compared with prior solutions, despite the presence of nonnegligible uncertainties and distant sensing. View full abstract»

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  • Stiffness Matrix of Manipulators With Passive Joints: Computational Aspects

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 955 - 958
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (321 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper focuses on stiffness matrix computation for manipulators with passive joints, compliant actuators, and flexible links. It proposes both explicit analytical expressions and an efficient recursive procedure that are applicable in the general case and allow us to obtain the desired matrix either in analytical or numerical form. Advantages of the developed technique and its ability to produce both singular and nonsingular stiffness matrices are illustrated by application examples that deal with stiffness modeling of two Stewart-Gough platforms. View full abstract»

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  • A Novel Synthesis of Computational Approaches Enables Optimization of Grasp Quality of Tendon-Driven Hands

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 958 - 966
    Cited by:  Papers (3)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1074 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    We propose a complete methodology to find the full set of feasible grasp wrenches and the corresponding wrench-direction-independent grasp quality for a tendon-driven hand with arbitrary design parameters. Monte Carlo simulations on two representative designs combined with multiple linear regression identified the parameters with the greatest potential to increase this grasp metric. This synthesis of computational approaches now enables the systematic design, evaluation, and optimization of tendon-driven hands. View full abstract»

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  • Multirobot Coordination With Periodic Connectivity: Theory and Experiments

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 967 - 973
    Cited by:  Papers (4)
    Multimedia
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (580 KB)  

    We examine the scenario in which a mobile network of robots must search, survey, or cover an environment and communication is restricted by relative location. While many algorithms choose to maintain a connected network at all times while performing such tasks, we relax this requirement and examine the use of periodic connectivity, where the network must regain connectivity at a fixed interval. We propose an online algorithm that scales linearly in the number of robots and allows for arbitrary periodic connectivity constraints. To complement the proposed algorithm, we provide theoretical inapproximability results for connectivity-constrained planning. Finally, we validate our approach in the coordinated search domain in simulation and in real-world experiments. View full abstract»

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  • Direct Visual Servoing: Vision-Based Estimation and Control Using Only Nonmetric Information

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 974 - 980
    Cited by:  Papers (4)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (500 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper addresses the problem of stabilizing a robot at a pose specified via a reference image. Specifically, this paper focuses on six degrees-of-freedom visual servoing techniques that require neither metric information of the observed object nor precise camera and/or robot calibration parameters. Not requiring them improves the flexibility and robustness of servoing tasks. However, existing techniques within the focused class need prior knowledge of the object shape and/or of the camera motion. We present a new visual servoing technique that requires none of the aforementioned information. The proposed technique directly exploits 1) the projective parameters that relate the current image with the reference one and 2) the pixel intensities to obtain these parameters. The level of versatility and accuracy of servoing tasks are, thus, further improved. We also show that the proposed nonmetric scheme allows for path planning. In this way, the domain of convergence is greatly enlarged as well. Theoretical proofs and experimental results demonstrate that visual servoing can, indeed, be highly accurate and robust, despite unknown objects and imaging conditions. This naturally encompasses the cases of color images and illumination changes. View full abstract»

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  • An Alternative to the Mahalanobis Distance for Determining Optimal Correspondences in Data Association

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 980 - 986
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Multimedia
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    The most common criteria to determine data association rely on minimizing the squared Mahalanobis distance (SMD) between observations and predictions. We hold that the SMD is just a heuristic, while the alternative matching likelihood is the optimal statistic to be maximized. Thorough experiments undoubtedly confirm this idea, with false positive reductions of up to 16%. View full abstract»

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  • Shape Memory Polymer-Based Flexure Stiffness Control in a Miniature Flapping-Wing Robot

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 987 - 990
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1493 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    An active flexural hinge has been developed and incorporated into the transmission of a prototype flapping-wing robot. The multilayered flexure, which is constructed from a shape memory polymer and a polyimide film, showed controllable stiffness under change in temperature. At room temperature, the flexure had a bending stiffness of 572 mN·mm; when warmed to 70°C, the stiffness was 11 mN·mm. The resulting single-wing flapping system demonstrated up to an 80% change in generated lift without modification of the waveform of the main driving piezoelectric actuator. Such active stiffness tunable flexure joints could be applied to any flexural miniature mobile robot and device mechanisms. View full abstract»

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  • IEEE Xplore Digital Library [advertisement]

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 991
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  • IEEE Foundation [advertisement]

    Publication Year: 2012 , Page(s): 992
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Aims & Scope

IEEE Transactions on Robotics covers both theory and applications on topics including: kinematics, dynamics, control, and simulation of robots and intelligent machines and systems.

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Meet Our Editors

Editor-in-Chief
Frank Park
Seoul National University