Developing a Motor Brain for Continuum Soft Robots
Leveraging the capabilities provided by their continuously deformable bodies, continuum soft robots promise to have a disruptive impact on several fields of science, industry, and society. In the past decade, substantial progress has been made in developing soft robotic bodies. Nevertheless, soft robotic systems still need a low-level artificial brain that can robustly manage the intelligence embedded in their complex mechanical structures. With this talk/lecture, I will briefly introduce this grand challenge within the soft robotic field. I will show how simplified models can be combined with nonlinear control theory, leading to the execution of precise and dynamic tasks. I will also discuss how the model-based view can be integrated with data-driven techniques toward higher levels of motor performance.
Bio: Cosimo Della Santina is Assistant Professor at TU Delft and Research Scientist at the German Aerospace Institute (DLR). He received his Ph.D. in robotics (cum laude, 2019) from the University of Pisa. He was then a visiting Ph.D. student and a postdoc (2017 to 2019) at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He was also a senior postdoc (2020) and lecturer (2021) at the Department of Mathematics and Informatics, Technical University of Munich (TUM). Cosimo has published more than 80 papers in peer-reviewed journals and conferences. He has been awarded euRobotics Georges Giralt Ph.D. Award (2020), and the “Fabrizio Flacco” Young Author Award of the RAS Italian chapter (2019). He was also a finalist for the European Embedded Control Institute Ph.D. award (2020). His main research interests concern motor intelligence of physical systems, with a focus on soft robotics.
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