Robotics @ Lunchtime

Vacuum-Driven Soft Robotic End Effectors by Fabian Ong

Autonomous dielectric elastomer energy harvesters to harvest motion by Anup Teejo Mathew

Industrial Design of a Modular, Pneumatic-Muscle Driven Manipulator with Variable Degrees of Freedom by Aleksandar Kostadinov

Date/Time: 28 March 2018 (Wednesday), 12noon to 1.30pm
Venue: NUS Faculty of Engineering, Advanced Robotics Centre
Blk E6, Level 7, Engagement Room

Vacuum-Driven Soft Robotic End Effectors
Conventional robots in the assembly line have great difficulty in managing to grasp soft, delicate objects of various topology. Instead, one has to look towards the various grasping methodologies found in nature.

In this seminar, a new strategy is developed that employs the use of negative pressure (“vacuumatics”) as an enabler to create useful actuation through the deformation of soft lattice structures, resulting in various possible designs and grasping methods. This strategy simplifies the design of soft robotic end effectors and eliminates the need for complex mechanical design and coding. An overview of the strategies of some existing soft robotic end effectors will also be shared and evaluated during the seminar.

About the Speaker
Fabian Ong is a current Year 4 undergraduate at the Division of Industrial Design, National University of Singapore. He is interested in industrial design that revolves around sustainable, tangible product systems, with a focus on technical solutions that are designed with insights derived from the research process. In his spare time, he enjoys discovering global cultural norms, understanding the natural world and human behaviour.
Autonomous dielectric elastomer energy harvesters to harvest motion
Renewable and green energy harvesting is one of the most urgent challenge for the sustainability of human civilization. Various energy harvesters are being implemented and constantly improved to tap different forms of ambient energy. A Dielectric Elastomer Generator (DEG) is an electrostatic generator that converts its elastic energy to boost the potential of a charge placed on it. DEG needs a high voltage priming source for its operation. For small scale energy harvesting application like a heel-strike generator there is limited space. Providing such a priming source and a large amount of strain in a constrained space is challenging. To tackle this problem, we present a hybrid energy harvester that couples a piezoelectric generator and a DEG, making it compact and free from the need of an external priming source. The piezoelectric generator charges the DEG and the DEG amplifies the voltage of the charges placed on it. To stretch the DE within a constrained space, we propose a new way to deform a DE, termed the “ripple”. This hybrid system signifies the possibility of producing energy harvesters to harvest low frequency motions at high output yield.

About the speaker
Anup Teejo Mathew is a 3rd year PhD student in Department of Mechanical Engineering, National University of Singapore. He is working on the project “Analysis, design and development of soft active transducers” under the supervision of Dr. Koh Soo Jin Adrian. His project involves developing dielectric elastomer transducers for actuation and energy harvesting applications.
Industrial Design of a Modular, Pneumatic-Muscle Driven Manipulator with Variable Degrees of Freedom
Manufacturing robots are on the rise. Implemented predominantly in the car- and electronics industry, they are now more than ever taking over the famous trinity of dull, dirty, and dangerous tasks – worldwide.

Having robots all around the globe’s large production facilities, the competitiveness of small and middle sized manufacturers seems diminished, as the implementation of robotic systems is relatively expensive. Due to increased standards and manpower costs, an inexpensive alternative would cater to those companies that are in need of reliable and cost-efficient automated workers and assistants.

This research project aims at meeting those requirements through a pneumatic muscle driven robotic manipulator. Having a modular setup and being simple in its construction, the device might offer a valuable solution to improve the efficiency of production facilities.

About the Speaker
Dipl.-Ing. (Univ.) Aleksandar Kostadinov Bsc, PhD Researcher for Industrial Design at the National University of Singapore is doing his doctorate on innovation for robotics under Prof. Thallemer. Prior to this he studied with him since 2004 at the University of Art and Industrial Design Linz, where he developed the bionically induced Point Gripper and the book “Robotic – art & design“ as Master thesis. He significantly contributed to “AirArm” and its comprehensive documentation. In addition, he participated in the short film „ – engineering elegance“, co-funded by BMBF, DBU, BIONA and BioKon.

Please register your attendance at the following link by 25 March 2018:

Lunch box will be provided.