Christoph H. Belke is currently pursuing a PhD in robotics with the Reconfigurable Robotics Lab (RRL) at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). He received his Master of Engineering (MEng) degree in Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College London where he was awarded with the Engineering Dean’s list prize for academic excellence. Christoph has previously worked on medical and rehabilitation robotics at both Imperial College London and the University of California, Berkeley. He is now developing novel reconfigurable and modular robots to augment human robot interaction.
For a full profile please visit my website: www.chbelke.com
Modular robotics, Reconfigurable robotics, Origami robotics
Towards Peak Torque Minimization for Modular Self-Folding Robots
2019-01-07. 2018 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) , Madrid, Spain , October 1-5, 2018.
DOI : 10.1109/IROS.2018.8593648.
Modular self-folding robots are versatile systems that can change their own shape from two-dimensional patterns at instant commands. This reconfigurability is commonly restrained by power limitation in autonomous environments, The robotic systems with insufficient torque may lead to inaccurate movements and even transformation failures. This paper presents methodology for optimized reconfiguration planning with torque limitation in modular self-folding robots. We determine reconfiguration schemes with optimal initial pattern and robotic base that result in minimal peak torque by minimizing robotic inertia of the modular architecture. We present minimal bounding box and capacitated spanning tree heuristic algorithms to generate optimal initial patterns and propose 3 heuristic rules for robotic base selection. Our approach is demonstrated in simulation by applying the algorithms to the robotic concept of Mori, a modular origami robot. The simulation results show that the proposed algorithms yield reconfiguration schemes with low peak torque, thereby appropriate for real-time applications in modular robotic systems.
A reconfiguration strategy for modular robots using origami folding
The International Journal of Robotics Research. 2018-12-05.
DOI : 10.1177/0278364918815757.
Reconfigurability in versatile systems of modular robots is achieved by changing the morphology of the overall structure as well as by connecting and disconnecting modules. Recurrent connectivity changes can cause misalignment that leads to mechanical failure of the system. This paper presents a new approach to reconfiguration, inspired by the art of origami, that eliminates connectivity changes during transformation. Our method consists of an energy-optimal reconfiguration planner that generates an initial 2D assembly pattern and an actuation sequence of the modular units, both resulting in minimum energy consumption. The algorithmic framework includes two approaches, an automatic modeling algorithm as well as a heuristic algorithm. We further demonstrate the effectiveness of our method by applying the algorithms to Mori, a modular origami robot, in simulation. Our results show that the heuristic algorithm yields reconfiguration schemes with high quality, compared with the automatic modeling algorithm, simultaneously saving a considerable amount of computational time and effort.
Optimal Distribution of Active Modules in Modular Robots
Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics. 2018-11-05.
DOI : 10.1115/1.4041972.
Reconfigurability in versatile systems of modular robots is achieved by appropriate actuation of their modular units. Optimized distribution of active modules in the modular architecture can significantly reduce cost and energy in the reconfiguration tasks. This paper presents methodology for distribution planning in modular robots that results in minimum number of active modules, while guaranteeing their capability to reconfigure. We discuss the optimal distribution problem in layout-based and target-based planning, so that the modular robots can respond to instant commands for reconfiguration with an initial planar pattern or a target three dimensional configuration as input. We propose heuristic algorithms for the corresponding solution in different scenarios. Our approach is demonstrated by applying the algorithms to Mori, a modular origami robot. The simulation results show that the algorithms yields distribution schemes with high quality, thereby appropriate for real-time applications in modular robotic systems.
Minimally Actuated Transformation of Origami Machines
IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters. 2018-01-31.
DOI : 10.1109/LRA.2018.2800126.
Miniaturized Twin-legged Robot with an Electromagnetic Oscillatory Actuator
Journal of Bionic Engineering. 2018-01-20.
DOI : 10.1007/s42235-017-0008-2.
Tribot: A Deployable, Self-Righting and Multi-Locomotive Origami Robot
2017. IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) , Vancouver, BC , September 24-28.
DOI : 10.1109/IROS.2017.8206445.
There are several challenges in down-sizing robots for transportation deployment, diversification of locomotion capabilities tuned for various terrains, and rapid and on-demand manufacturing. In this paper we propose an origami-inspired method of addressing these key issues by designing and manufacturing a foldable, deployable, and self-righting version of the origami robot Tribot. Our latest Tribot prototype can jump as high as 215 mm, five times its height, and roll consecutively on any of its edges with an average step size of 55 mm. The 4 g robot self-deploys nine times of its size when released. A compliant roll cage ensures that the robot self-rights onto two legs after jumping or being deployed and also protects the robot from impacts. A description of our prototype and its design, locomotion modes, and fabrication is followed by demonstrations of its key features.
Mori: A Modular Origami Robot
IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics. 2017.
DOI : 10.1109/TMECH.2017.2697310.
This paper proposes a new robotic platform based on origami robots and reconfigurable modular robots. The concept combines the advantages of both robot types into a mobile, quasi-two-dimensional, lattice-type reconfigurable modular origami robot, Mori. A detailed description and analysis of the concept is validated by the presentation of a first prototype that incorporates the key functionalities of the proposed system. The modular robot prototype is mobile, can be connected to other modules of its kind, and fold up to create task-specific three-dimensional reconfigurable structures. Three implementations using the prototype in different configurations are presented in form of individual modules, modular reconfigurable surfaces, and applied to closed-loop object manipulation. The experiments highlight the capabilities and advantages of the system with respect to modularity, origami-folding, mobility, and versatility.