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NCCR Robotics

by   -   July 21, 2017
Credit: EPFL

When training to regain movement after stroke or spinal cord injury (SCI), patients must once again learn how to keep their balance during walking movements. Current clinical methods support the weight of the patient during movement, while setting the body off balance. This means that when patients are ready to walk without mechanical assistance, it can be hard to re-train the body to balance against gravity. This is the issue addressed in a recent paper published in Science Translational Medicine by a team lead by Courtine-Lab, and featuring Ijspeert Lab, NCCR Robotics and EPFL.

Jamie Paik with a robot
Jamie Paik with a robot. Credit: NCCR Robotics

Meet the NCCR Robotics Paik Lab (RRL, EPFL) – headed by Professor Jamie Paik, the lab is dedicated to creating interactive robotic systems using cutting edge manufacturing techniques. The lab specialises in creating soft, foldable robots for use in a variety of situations, including creating compliant robotic assistive devices for people with disabilities.

by   -   February 27, 2017

Over recent years the explosion in popularity of drones, both professionally and for amateur use, has inspired researchers to consider how to make flying robots as safe and robust as possible. Previous design methods have included producing bulky protective cages or making them as unlikely to crash as possible. Recently, researchers from Floreano Lab, NCCR Robotics and EPFL have presented a new approach to making crash resilient quadcopters – making them soft, so it doesn’t matter if they come into contact with their surrounding environment.

cybathalon

On 8 October 2016, the world’s first Cybathlon took place in Zurich, Switzerland. The event, organised by ETH Zurich with NCCR Robotics as presenting sponsor, offered the opportunity for people with disabilities to work with technology providers to create solutions that would help them to complete a series of tasks of daily life.

by   -   December 16, 2016
Source: École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)
Source: École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

Bioinspired robots that take their designs from biology has been a big research area in recent years, but a team from NCCR RoboticsFloreano Lab have just gone one step further and designed a feathered drone to fully replicate the agile flight of birds.

by   -   November 2, 2016

r2t2_illu_fullres_highresToday, the Swiss Robotics Industry Day will play host to the R2t2 rescue mission and we are heading straight for the future!

img_4456_dxo_web

A group from Floreano Lab, EPFL and NCCR Robotics has today published their novel variable stiffness fibre with self-healing capability.

Soft “hardware” components are becoming more and more popular solutions within the field of robotics. In fact softness, compliance and foldability bring significant advantages to devices by allowing conformability and safe interactions with users, objects and unstructured environments. However for some applications, the softness of components adversely reduces the range of forces those devices can apply or sustain. An optimal solution would be having components able to vary their softness according to the needed task.

lemano2_forwebThis week, the world’s first Cybathlon will take place in Zurich, Switzerland and today we present to you the second of the NCCR Robotics teams to be taking part in the competition, LeMano. The Cybathlon is the brainchild of NCCR Robotics co-director and ETH Zurich professor Robert Riener, and is designed to facilitate discussion between academics, industry and end users of assistive aids, to promote the position of people with disabilities within society and to push development of assistive technology towards solutions that are suitable for use all-day, every day.

foldable_drone_resizedWhen designing robots to help in the search for victims after a natural disaster, a number of features are important: robustness, long battery life and ease of transport. With this latest constraint in mind, a team from Floreano Lab, EPFL and NCCR Robotics will present their new drone with insect-inspired folding wings at IROS 2016.

Source: ADRLabETH/youtube
Hardware experiments on motion planning for the the ballbot Rezero using direct transcription. Source: ADRLab ETH/youtube

When you walk across a room or down a path, your brain is making thousands of decisions on how best to move. For example, how best to use your weight, scanning for any obstacles or uneven surfaces, and how rigid (or soft) your limbs and joints should be. Teaching a robot to conduct the same decision-making process is ongoing in robotics, and a team from ADRL, ETH Zurich and NCCR Robotics is studying existing direct transcription methods for trajectory optimization applied to robot motion planning.


As soft robotics increases in both scope and popularity, it is becoming more and more vital that each element of the electrical circuits contained within are also soft and elastic and able to continue to function reliably when in stressed or pressurised positions.

SPAs are a soft solution for creating a bending motion while not being limited to a single direction of movement, and as such can be used for a wider range of applications.

The ETH knee perturbator is a remotely actuated knee exoskeleton and is studying the impedance modulation in healthy subjects during various modes of gait.

For those with extreme mobility problems, such as paralysis following spinal cord injury or neurological disease, telepresence can greatly help to offset social isolation. However, controlling a mobile telepresence device through obstacles like doorways can be difficult when fine motor skills have been compromised. Researchers from CNBI, EPFL and NCCR Robotics this week published a cunning solution that uses brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) to enable patients to share control with the robot, making it far easier to navigate.

Quad in both operation and folded positions
The foldable quadrotor is small enough to fit in a hand (Photo: LIS, EPFL, NCCR Robotics).

The use of robots to find victims after natural disasters is fast becoming commonplace, with well documented cases where robots have been sent into areas too dangerous for rescue workers.  While the issues surrounding robustness, control and autonomy are frequently cited as key areas for research, a  team from LIS, EPFL and NCCR Robotics is working on another important aspect, how to make flying robots easily transportable and quick to deploy.



Disney Robotics
September 17, 2017


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