Compliance is an intrinsic aspect of nearly all biological systems. However, until recently, traditional robotics has focused more on rigid structures with discrete numbers of links and actuators (whether in series or parallel). More recently, soft robotics has become a popular area of research as it provides a level of safety for human/robot interaction that rigid systems cannot provide. However, there are many situations where robotic systems need the ability to switch between being highly compliant and offering rigidity as they interact with their environment (including human operators). In the effort to develop tunably compliant mechanisms and robotics systems, the M3 Robotics Lab is focused on:
- High degrees of *: Estimation and control for systems where there are high degrees of freedom, high degrees of actuation or underactuation, and/or high degrees of sensor information.
- Tunably compliant mechanism: Using smart materials to actively control mechanism compliance, often coupled with traditional robotic actuation schemes.
- Applications in medical robotics: The goal of many medical devices is to deftly navigate to a location within the body and then interact with tissues at the target location. Travel to the treatment site requires dexterity and compliance, while interactions at the target site require higher levels of rigidity. Medical robotics provides an ideal testbed for validating the previous two principles.
We take an approach of design, model, estimation, and control, where we focus on both analytical and theoretical understanding as well as experimental validation and demonstration. While the primary focus of the research in high degree of freedom systems with tunable compliance is in the area of medical robotics and biomedical systems, these same principles have the potential for employ in manufacturing scenarios, space robotics, and home robotics.
- Talk on Waterjet-assisted Needle Steering for Medical Applications on Nov. 1, 2019 Read Story
- Talk on Soft Robotics: Materials, Geometry, and Medical Applications Read Story
Our Research on Waterjet Steerable Needles on WSU Insider
A new article by the title “Cutting-edge needles promise more accuracy in medical procedures” featuring our research on Fracture-directed Waterjet Steerable Needles is published on WSU Insider.
Fracture-directed Steerable needles is a new class of steerable needles that is first introduced by Dr. John P. Swensen, in which the direction of the tissue fracture is controlled by high velocity waterjet and then the flexible needle made of Nitinol follows. This process continues until the needle reaches to the desired place in the soft tissue. The direction of the tissue fracture is controlled by the angled nozzle, and different bendings are also possible … » More …Read Story
M3 robotics lab showcases research at WSU 2019 Research Expo
M3 robotics lab participated in annual 2019 Research Expo held by Washington State University. At this Expo Researchers present their research to the general public and researchers from different disciplines.
Soft Robotics Education Outreach – Design of a soft robotic hand
M3 robotic lab members Emily Allen, and Lee Taylor, two Mechanical Engineering Students, have developed learning modules to introduce students of all ages to topics of design, fabrication, and evaluation of soft and tunably compliant robotics. Preliminary design of soft robotic hand featuring multiple smart materials and tendon driven actuation for learning module is shown below.Read Story
<img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-674" src="https://s3.wp.wsu.edu/uploads/sites/909/2018/06/soft_robot_hand_1.jpg" alt="" width="5484" height="3656" srcset="https://s3.wp.wsu.edu/uploads/sites/909/2018/06/soft_robot_hand_1.jpg 5484w, https://s3.wp.wsu.edu/uploads/sites/909/2018/06/soft_robot_hand_1-396x264.jpg 396w, https://s3.wp.wsu.edu/uploads/sites/909/2018/06/soft_robot_hand_1-768x512.jpg 768w, https://s3.wp.wsu.edu/uploads/sites/909/2018/06/soft_robot_hand_1-792x528.jpg 792w, https://s3.wp.wsu.edu/uploads/sites/909/2018/06/soft_robot_hand_1-990x660.jpg ... » More …
“Towards Water-jet Steerable Needles” is accepted as an oral presentation at BioRob 2018
We are now at a place that proved that this new idea in steerable needles works. The first paper on the new area of waterjet steerable needles is going to be published soon. The paper will be presented as oral presentation in IEEE International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics (BioRob 2018) on Aug. 2018 in Netherlands.
A summary of this paper:
Water-jet technology has been used extensively for decades industrially for many applications including mining, plastic, … » More …Read Story
“Fracture-Directed Steerable Needles” is published in Journal of Medical Robotics Research
A new paper from our lab research team entitled “Fracture-Directed Steerable Needles” is published in Journal of Medical Robotics Research.
Here is a summary of the paper:
Steerable needles hold the promise of improving the accuracy of both therapies and biopsies as they are able to steer to a target location around obstructions, correct for disturbances, and account for movement of internal organs. However, their ability to make late-insertion corrections has always been limited by the lower bound on the attainable radius … » More …Read Story
M3 robotics lab showcases research at 2018 Research Expo
M3 robotics lab participated in annual 2018 Research Expo held by Washington State University. At this Expo people presented their research and judges graded them based on some rubric such as novelty of research, the quality of presentation, poster format, and the importance of research. 2 researchers will be awarded with scholarship in each category.
We presented our ongoing research on Water-jet Steerable needles. Water-jet technology has been used in industry for a long time for different applications. In … » More …Read Story
The Daily Evergreen interviewed m3 robotics lab team members on their research
On Jan., 2018, The Daily Evergreen, WSU newspaper, interviewed m3 robotics lab team members on the ongoing research in our lab. Prof. Swesnen talked about a new approach using waterjet, allowing to direct the needle exactly where it wants to go. This method also eliminates resistance, making it easier to press the needle in further. Prof. Swensen also added that our lab is at a point where we’ve proved water-jet steerable needles work. He also talked about other ongoing research in our lab namely fracture-directed steerable needles, and … » More …Read Story
High school students visit M3 robotics lab
On Wednesday morning, M3 robotics lab was host to visiting high school students. The aim of this visit was to grab the attention of the kids to areas such as Engineering and Robotics ad encourage them to think about engineering as their future majors and later as careers.
Professor Swensen started off with asking who is actually … » More …Read Story