Soft robotic systems and/or actuators is a rapidly developing field of engineering. It is booming now due to recent advances in 3D manufacturing which made it possible to produce flexible structures rapidly and at low costs. It is expected that the soft robots can replace conventional robots in the areas where a safe human-robot interaction is critical to accomplish the task.
This project will focus on self-propelled soft robots and soft actuators and their modeling and control, and includes problems as modeling flexible structures, embedded sensors (how to measure angles/positions/curvatures), manufacturing flexible robots with 3D printers, and cooperative control of pneumatically actuated soft structures.
The PhD candidate is expected to study and explore new possibilities for self-propelled soft robots. The project is aimed at making a demo setup different from what is usually demonstrated as a soft robot.
An intensive collaboration within the department (e.g. soft robotics researchers), between departments, and between universities is expected. The project will be closely connected to the 4TU Soft Robotics program (www.dutchsoftrobotics.nl
).About the group
In the section Dynamics and Control
research focuses on the modeling, analysis and control of mechanical systems in a broad sense. This encompasses typical areas as mechatronics, modern vehicle control and last but not least automation of mechanical systems. The latter subject is nowadays a key driver for research in robotics. Besides various more industrial robotic applications in industry and agriculture, an important field is formed by robots for care and for cure. Though very different in usage, both directions have great potential for the future of mankind. A recent very relevant development in robotics for care and cure is framed as soft robotics where because of the very nature of a soft robot, human-robot interaction and safety is of primal importance.