Robot Design involves creating and developing robotic systems for various applications. Engineers and designers in this field take a holistic mechatronic approach, considering factors such as the robot's intended function, physical form and structure, movement and autonomy.
The field is constantly evolving with new technologies and materials being developed and tested. At KTH Mechatronics, the focus is on the use of additive manufacturing, smart materials, integrated sensors, compliant actuators, control systems and applied artificial intelligence to design, develop and control agile, modular and multi-purpose robot systems.
Our planned research scope involves the development of a wide range of robotic solutions for various applications, including automated inspection in industrial and hazardous environments, bionics for assistance and augmentation in occupational environments, compliant and soft robots for safe interactions, medical robots for localized drug release, and energy-sustainable adaptronic wearables for healthcare.
To achieve this, we aim to form interdisciplinary research consortiums and build infrastructure for developing, testing and validating robot-enabled solutions that can address real-life problems. With a focus on sustainable development and ethical validation practices, our long-term plan is geared towards achieving positive environmental, societal and economic impact.
Our research in robot design
Our research focuses on the design, development and control of autonomous robots for various applications, including safe interactions, motion assistance, human-robot collaboration, and energy harvesting wearables. We utilize additive manufacturing techniques and compliant and smart materials to achieve these goals. Specifically, our current research includes:
A mechatronics-twin based on a Stewart Platform for emulating dynamic scenarios of complex gait behaviour in transfemoral amputees.
The design, development and control of a soft tabletop robot for safe interactions with children.
Exoskeleton design and real-time control for human-in-the-loop optimization.
The design and motion control of an autonomous robot for forestry applications.
4D printing of soft structures.
EXHILO: Real-time exoskeleton control for human-in-the-loop optimization
Sep 25, 2023
The project goal is to build a physical prototype of a modular lower-limb exoskeleton system with a digital interface to a real-time variable controller. The prototype will be equipped with off-board actuation modules that provide variable control to different joints and joint ranges of motion while being capable of supporting real-time control of its kinetic properties. By varying the assistive strategies in the exoskeleton system via a digital interface, we will enable human-in-the-loop (HILO) optimization in order to find optimal control strategies for different users and different goals.
HARU: On the compliance, reliability and motion control of a tabletop robot
Sep 25, 2023
To ensure safe human-robot interaction in social scenarios, safety must be taken into consideration from the robot’s early conceptualization stages. Traditionally, existing robot design approaches have relied heavily on rigid components which can pose a potential safety hazard, while replacing or upgrading these components can be time-consuming and expensive. While the benefits of soft robotics for safety and interaction are well-understood, achieving reliability during long-hour operation is not sufficiently addressed. This work aims to address that research gap and provide a comprehensive methodology for the design and development of structures and actuation modules based on soft robotics technology, which would be able to best support a social robot’s dynamic motions for maximizing expressiveness and user immersion, while ensuring safety and durability over long-hour operation scenarios.