D7 - Queen Mary University London

Team Robotix, Centre for Advanced Robotics

Lead Investigator: Kaspar Althoefer

Contact: Ivan Vitanov i.vitanov@qmul.ac.uk

Focus (or foci) of the group for NCNR:

Dexterity is important when robots are sent to remote locations to handle nuclear waste. The team at Queen Mary focused on developing soft robotics, including eversion robots (where the robot can turn inside out) to enable smart machines to access to extreme environments and deliver essential information to their operators.

Project achievements include:

  • Soft robotics, such as soft fabric-based inflatable grippers, to handle objects of different shapes
  • Tactile perception, especially using nuclear radiation-immune optics methods, for integration with robotic grippers and hands
  • Camera-based intelligent object detection
  • Visuo-tactile perception for autonomous robotic manipulation (e.g. grasping)
  • Computer vision and machine learning
  • Sensor delivery with reinforcement learning-based mapless navigation in unseen environments
  • Single picture-based policy learning for reaching objects
  • Autonomous robotic grasping and manipulation based on visual and tactile input
  • Software framework to ease integration of software and hardware components
  • Teleoperation of collaborative robot and dexterous robot hands with haptic feedback
  • Human-robot interaction for virtual reality (VR) interfaces
  • Haptic feedback systems
  • Soft grippers with variable stiffness hinges for dexterous grasping of objects
  • Electro-adhesive (EA) pads for anchoring on objects, to assist grasping using soft gripper