Mark Cutkosky & inchworm climber
Selectively Soft Robotics
As robots move beyond manufacturing applications to less predictable environments, they increasingly can benefit, as animals do, from integrating sensing and control with the passive properties provided by particular combinations and arrangements of materials and mechanisms. This realization is partly responsible for the recent proliferation of soft and bioinspired robots. However, many structures and mechanisms in nature are not uniformly soft. Rather, they are selectively soft – highly compliant in certain directions, or when loaded in a certain way, but stiff or inextensible when loaded differently. Such tuned materials and mechanisms, whether in animals or robots, can provide several kinds of benefits, including energy storage and recovery, increased physical robustness, and decreased response time to sudden events. This talk will explore these interrelated concepts using examples from several bioinspired mobile robots that exploit selectively soft materials and structures when interacting with objects and surfaces in the environment.
Mark R. Cutkosky is the Fletcher Jones Professor in the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. He joined Stanford in 1985, after working in the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University and as a design engineer at ALCOA, in Pittsburgh, PA. He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 1985.
Cutkosky's research activities include robotic manipulation and tactile sensing and the design and fabrication of biologically inspired robots. He has graduated over 48 Ph.D. students and published extensively in these areas. He consults with companies on robotics and human/computer interaction devices and holds several patents on related technologies. His work has been featured in Discover Magazine, The New York Times, National Geographic, Time Magazine and other publications and has appeared on PBS NOVA, CBS Evening News, and other popular media.
Cutkosky’s awards include a Fulbright Faculty Chair (Italy 2002), Fletcher Jones and Charles M. Pigott Chairs at Stanford University, an NSF Presidential Young Investigator award and Times Magazine Best Innovations (2006) for the Stickybot gecko-inspired robot. He is a fellow of ASME and IEEE and a member of Sigma Xi.
Cutkosky’s laboratory and research can be found at http://bdml.stanford.edu
Tokyo Institute of Technology
Soft robots as an E-kagen artifact
I have developed various types of soft actuators and robots since 1986. In this presentation, first, I will talk about several examples of my works on soft robotics, which include (1) pneumatic rubber actuators, (2) their medical applications, (3) functional rubber surfaces, and (4) hose-free pneumatics. Next, I will talk about my current works of thin soft muscle and its applications to (1) soft power support suits, (2) musculo-skeletal robots and (3) Giacometti robots.
At the end of my talk I would like to talk about the significance of soft robotics in the history of robotics using a Japanese word “E-kagen”, which has two opposite meanings. One is positive meaning of good, proper and moderate and the other is negative meaning of irresponsible, imprecise and vague.
Koichi Suzumori received the Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering from Yokohama National University in 1990. He had worked for Toshiba R&D Center from 1984 to 2001, and also worked for Micromachine Center, Tokyo from 1999 to 2001.
He had been a Professor of Division of Industrial Innovation Sciences, Okayama University from 2001 to 2014.
He has been a Professor of Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology since 2014. He established a venture company, s-muscle Co., Ltd. in 2016, which puts soft thin artificial muscles into practical uses.
The BioRobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna
Paolo Dario received his Dr. Eng. Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pisa, Italy, in 1977. He is currently Professor of Biomedical Robotics at the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Pisa, and teaches course in the M.S. Program in Bionics Engineering jointly organized by the University of Pisa and by the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna. He is also the Coordinator of the PhD Program in BioRobotics at the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna.
He has been visiting researcher and professor at Brown University, USA, at EPFL, Switzerland, at College de France, France, at Polytechnic University of Catalunya, Spain, at Zhejiang University, China. He is currently Visiting Professor at Waseda University, Japan. Since March 1, 2014 he is serving as Visiting Chief Researcher, Biomedical Engineering and Robotics, at Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Professor Dario is the recipient of the 1000 Thousand Foreign Talent Award (2016 – 2018) at Tianjin University, China and since 2016 he has been Principal Investigator at the Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Intelligent Robot Systems at the Beijing Institute of Technology, China. He has been the Director of the BioRobotics Institute of Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna from 2011 to 2017.
His main research interests are in the fields of medical robotics, bio-robotics, mechatronics and micro/nanoengineering, and specifically in sensors and actuators for the above applications, and in robotics for rehabilitation. He is the coordinator of many national and European projects, the editor of two books on robotics, and the author of 400+ journal publications (Scopus). His H-Index is 79 (Scopus), his papers have 28.400+ citations and in March 2015 he was identified by the IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine as the second most influent scientist in robotics worldwide according to degree centrality and bibliometric criteria. He is co-author of 50+ international patents and co-founder of 5 start-up companies.
Prof. Dario is an IEEE Fellow, a Fellow of the European Society on Medical and Biological Engineering, and a recipient of many honors and awards, such as the Joseph Engelberger Award and the IEEE RAS George Saridis Leadership Award in Robotics and Automation for 2014.