[robotics-worldwide] [Journals] IJRR special issue “Soft Robotic Modeling and Control: Bringing Together Articulated Soft Robots and Soft-Bodied Robots”
Call for Papers
The International Journal of Robotics Research
“Soft Robotic Modeling and Control: Bringing Together Articulated Soft Robots and Soft-Bodied Robots”
Daniela Rus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
Robert Katzschmann, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
Cosimo Della Santina, University of Pisa, Italy
Antonio Bicchi, Italian Institute of Technology, Italy
Animals move very differently from rigid robots, performing dynamic tasks efficiently, and interacting robustly, compliantly, and continuously with the external world through their body's elasticity. With the aim of getting closer to animals’ performance, elastic elements are purposefully introduced in the mechanical structure of soft robots. When it comes to compliant control systems, however, it turns out that achieving performance is not at all easier. This fact is intuitive for such measures of performance as positional accuracy, which is the reason industrial robots have traditionally been built for maximum rigidity.
Articulated soft robots have rigid bodies and elastic joints with either constant or variable impedance. Their source of inspiration is the vertebrate part of the animal kingdom. Model-based control of articulated soft robots is a relatively mature research field, with both theoretical and practical results showing how soft robots can outperform classical rigid robots in various applications. However, many problems remain unsolved, for example how to properly design feedback controllers without altering the natural softness of the robot, or how to efficiently excite the robot’s natural dynamics, just to cite a few.
In contrast, continuum soft robots are primarily inspired by the invertebrate world. Their structure is continuously deformable, and typically composed by innovative materials. These characteristics make the derivation of accurate and tractable dynamic models quite challenging. While the lack of tractable models prevents the direct application of classical control theory to the control of these kind of robots, it also pushes researchers to find innovative solutions to control these continuum soft robots.
Despite a common origin, the two fields emerged at different times and grew separately. This special issue has the objective to bring both fields together by fostering the discussion and exchange on the similarities and differences in modelling and controlling robots that have in common their inherent compliance.
Topics of Interest include:
• Model based control of continuum and articulated soft robots
• Optimization in designing and controlling elastic bodies
• Modelling and simulation of continuum soft robots and flexible robots
• Morphological computation and evolutionary robotics
• Learning techniques in soft robotics
• Resonant modes and non-linear oscillations
• The role of elasticity in the natural body
During the submission the authors must indicate that the paper is intended for this special issue; an option called ‘SofRobotics’ will be offered by the system at the first Step in the choice of document Type.