Maryland Robotics Center Seminar: Embodying Dexterity: Contact models for the design of robotic gras

For robots to perform helpful manual tasks, they must be able to physically interact with the real-world. The ability of robots to grasp and manipulate often depends on the strength and reliability of contact conditions, e.g. friction. In this talk, I will introduce how my lab is developing tools for "messy" or adversarial contact conditions -- granular/rocky media, fluids, human interaction -- to support the design of more capable systems. Developing models of contact enables parametric studies that can powerfully inform mechanical design of robots. Coupled with prototyping and experimental exploration, we generate new systems that better embody desired capabilities. In particular, we are creating grippers, skins, tactile sensors, and wearables for the hands -- focusing on the point of contact. In this talk, I will draw upon recent examples including how we are (1) harnessing fluid flow in soft grippers to improve and monitor grasp state in unique ways, (2) modeling granular interaction forces to support new single- and multi-agent capabilities in sand, and (3) exploring assistive wearable device topologies for collaborative grasping. Hannah Stuart Assistant Professor Department of Mechanical Engineering University of California at Berkley To ask the speaker a question, click on the speech bubble icon in the lower right hand corner and type in the question in the window that pops up. The question will be sent directly to us. Please note that there is a little bit of a delay when streaming. What participants see is a few minutes behind what is happening at our end. The longer we stream, the greater the delay may become so the questions submitted at the very end may not reach us in time. The best way to get the questions answered is to send them as they come up.