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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/L026856/2
Title: Versatile and Dexterous Adaptive Control of Dual-Arm Robots for Personalized Assistance
Principal Investigator: Yang, Professor C
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Imperial College London University of Bristol University of Portsmouth
Department: College of Engineering
Organisation: Swansea University
Scheme: First Grant - Revised 2009
Starts: 29 January 2016 Ends: 28 December 2016 Value (£): 44,805
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Control Engineering Robotics & Autonomy
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Manufacturing Information Technologies
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
In the near future, robots are expected to co-habit with human beings and work closely with us in the fields of manufacturing and medicine as well as in other aspects of our daily lives. Unfortunately, most of the current robot control technologies are designed for industrial robots which operate behind safeguarding and for predefined tasks, and thus are not able to cope with the varying tasks in unknown dynamic environments. This project will develop human-like adaptive control techniques to provide versatile and dexterous assistance to humans . In particular, the proposed new control techniques will enable robots to offer personalized assistance to different human users according to their motion patterns. For example, when the robot is interacting with an elderly person, it will automatically slow down; while it would speed up when working with a young man. To achieve these goals, this project will perform physiological studies on human control in the following two aspects: i) apply advanced control theory to analyze bimanually coordinated control strategies of human-beings in various scenarios; ii) investigate how human users develop efficient cooperation with a robot from a machine learning point of view .

The establishment of human control models can help us in at least two aspects: developing human-like adaptive controllers with high versatility and dexterity; and personalizing robot control to suit a specific human user. Based on this understanding on human bimanual control and human-human cooperation, this project will: (1) enable the robot to cope with different objects by bimanual haptic exploration; (2) enhance the robustness of robot control in interacting with different human users and in handling various objects; (3) improve robot manipulative dexterity at human-robot interaction scenarios and under geometric constraints/limitations caused by hardware and safety issues; (4) detect motion intention of human user and enhance dexterity with robot joint compliance; (5) introduce a measurement of user experience to quantify how human users are satisfied with the assistance offered by robots; and (6) enable the robot to identify and adapt to motor behavior patterns of a specific human user.

In the short term, this project will provide new control technologies for robotics researchers and builders to achieve better manipulation performance in terms of dexterity, versatility, and personalization. In the long run, it will benefit socially and economically to the UK by helping to boost the personal robot industry. It will further make contributions to UK by advancing its technology in the field of Robotics and Autonomous Systems, which is identified by the UK government as one of eight great British Technologies propelling the UK towards future growth.

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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Organisation Website: http://www.swan.ac.uk