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Velin Dimitrov, Robotics Engineering PhD student takes 3rd place at GRAD 2012

PhD Robotics Engineering student, Velin Dimitrov, won 3rd place at GRAD 2012: The Innovation Exchange with his project, Human-in-the-Loop Control of a Wheelchair Mounted Robot Arm.

Human-in-the-Loop Control of a Wheelchair Mounted Robot Arm

Velin Dimitrov

Advisor: Prof. Taskin Padir

This research focuses on the design, implementation and control of a wheelchair mounted compliant robot arm that can be operated by a functionally locked-in individual who may have full cognitive capabilities yet are unable to execute motor actions to generate movement or speech at various levels. The control system receives high-level commands from the user through Body/Brain Computer Interface (BBCI) technologies and operates semi-autonomously under uncertain aim. Since a wheelchair mounted arm is in close proximity to the user, the system must be compliant, but there are situations where a controllable level of compliance would be useful to achieve a given task. Our design approach enables us to investigate new actuator and drivetrain combinations including smart-fluid based torque converters at each joint of the robot arm to realize this variable compliance requirement. Moreover, the software implementation uses a design automation framework to develop a new-class of real-time algorithms for robot control.

April 4, 2012