Designing Robotic Manipulators and Medical Devices using Numerical Modeling and Optimization
Speaker: Frank Hammond, III Harvard Biorobotics and Microrobotics Laboratories
Series: Other Events
Location: Special Location (See description for details)
Date/Time: Tuesday, April 24, 2012, 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
"The design of effective robotic manipulators and medical devices requires careful selection of system components, proper design of actuation topologies and morphological structures, and a solid understanding of the manipulation tasks and medical problems that they are intended to address. Due to the complexity of the intended tasks and the immense size of the design space, developing these devices is non-trivial and can easily lead to solutions that are expensive, exorbitantly complex, or lacking the intended functionality. My work demonstrates that the use of well-formulated numerical models and optimization frameworks can mitigate mechanical complexity and elucidate salient design features to arrive at more economical and functional robotic devices for a variety of applications.
In this talk I will discuss several examples of this strategy, beginning with the use of heuristic, multiobjective motion fitness measures and evolutionary optimization algorithms to design redundant robotic manipulators, which led to significantly more dexterous and energy-efficient manipulator designs in simulations. I will also focus on the use of numerical grasp simulation and analysis techniques to optimize the design of robotic hands. In particular, I will discuss the derivation of non-anthropomorphic grasp synergies using an actuation topology reduction method, and the numerical exploration of the vast robotic hand design space to determine the viability of non-biomorphic hand morphologies. Numerical design methods have also been applied to the data-driven design of a dexterous robotic micromanipulation system for microsurgery. I describe how empirical data gathered from tracking the motion of manual instruments can lead to the specification of more effective micromanipulation system performance requirements, and how these requirements can be used to optimize the kinematic and mechanical designs of the robotic system to exceed manual micromanipulation capabilities. Finally, I will present some recent work on the development of soft wearable robotic orthoses and motion augmentation devices, focusing on how these devices can be designed with compliant sensing and actuation systems to adapt anatomical variations and device misalignments while safely providing the required actuation forces."
EQuad Room D221
BIO: "Frank L. Hammond III is currently a Ford Postdoctoral Research Fellow in both the Harvard Biorobotics and the Harvard Microrobotics Laboratories. His primary research interests lie in using numerical modeling and optimization methods to inform the design of robotic manipulators, robotic surgical platforms, and innovative medical devices for physical rehabilitation. He has active research on the development of a dexterous robotic micromanipulation platform for microsurgery and microdevice assembly at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, working in close collaboration with several practicing microsurgeons at Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women's hospitals. He is also active in NSF-funded adaptive robotic grasping research and soft wearable robotic devices in the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Science. His multi-disciplinary research spans robotics, engineering design, medical imaging, and medical devices and has been published in over twenty five peer-reviewed journal and conference papers. His teaching interests are in engineering design, biomechanics, and medical devices, where computational design tools and hands-on design projects are combined with lecture-based instruction. He has served as an advisor and mentor to several students pursuing senior design projects and independent studies in mechanical engineering, many of which have led to academic publications.
Frank received his B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Drexel University in 2002, his M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 2006, and his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 2010. As a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard University, Frank received a Ford Postdoctoral Research Fellowship which has funded much of his work on dexterous micromanipulation.