Automation and Robotics for Human Life

The Automation and Robotics for Human Life (AR4LIFE) Group addresses fundamental and open issues located at the heart of human-centered robotics, in the strands of mobility systems, medical robotics, field robotics, intelligent energy systems and computational intelligence: 

Mobility systems: aiming to improve mobility in human-made environments, including wheeled assistance mobile robots and automated vehicles, with focus on:

  • ·         assistive mobile robots and human-robot interaction in human environments 
  • ·         human-robot collaborative navigation and perception systems 
  • ·         multimodal human-machine interfaces with high reliability and usability 
  • ·         methods and algorithms for new urban mobility/transportation systems 

Medical robotics: Research on robotic-assisted surgery, diagnosis and rehabilitation, with focus on:

  • ·         autonomous compensation of physiological motions not known in advance, autonomous null-space motion guaranteeing trocar constraints, high-fidelity haptic feedback, and accurate motion and force control 
  • ·         telerobotic systems for remote ultrasound diagnosis, including compliant motion control driven by image data 
  • ·         robotic systems for rehabilitation, including clothes design with embedded biosensors running on harvested bio-energy or batteries  

Field Robotics: research on autonomous robots able to operate in natural and man-made difficult environments. These robots should be able to interact and cooperate with human teams or with homogeneous or heterogeneous robot teams. To reach these goals, several scientific objectives are pursuit, namely: 

  • ·           How to solve the problem of environmental sensing and perception?
  • ·          How to represent efficiently large natural environments (semantic representation and topological mapping)?
  • ·          How to reason and decide best actions in natural environments?
  • ·          How to address the previous problems in multi-agent environments (eventually heterogeneous and including humans)? 

Intelligent Energy Systems: research on advanced electrical technologies, as well as renewable energy and energy storage systems, in the scope of robotics, automation and electric vehicles, with the major topics: 

  • ·         Development and assessment of energy efficient technologies (such as lighting systems or electric motors and drives); 
  • ·         Impact assessment of energy-related products; 
  • ·         Design of smart grid architectures and energy storage systems to the large scale integration of renewable generation.

Computational Intelligence: computational learning methodologies, and intelligent control, with applications in robotics, intelligent vehicles, human-centered applications, soft sensors, and process control, giving special attention to industry applications and knowledge transfer.

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