Project

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Roombots: using reconfigurable robots to construct adaptive and assistive furniture

Applicant Ijspeert Auke Jan
Number 153299
Funding scheme Project funding
Research institution Laboratoire de biorobotique EPFL - STI - IBI - BIOROB
Institution of higher education EPF Lausanne - EPFL
Main discipline Information Technology
Start/End 01.09.2014 - 31.03.2018
Approved amount 364'926.00
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All Disciplines (3)

Discipline
Information Technology
Medico-Social Problems of the Elderly
Other disciplines of Engineering Sciences

Keywords (5)

Reconfigurable robotics; Adaptive furniture; planning; Locomotion control; Assistive robotics

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
Le vieillissement de la population amène de nouveaux de défis pour assurer une bonne qualité de vie et une indépendance pour les personnes âgées. La robotique peut contribuer à faciliter de nombreuses manières la vie quotidienne d’une personne à son domicile. Le projet Roombots est un exemple de projet futuriste qui va dans ce sens. Son but est de transformer des robots en meubles et de meubles en robots afin de créer un ensemble de mobiliers intelligents qui assistent une personne ou à mobilité réduite pour des tâches quotidiennes à son domicile.
Lay summary

Le but du projet « Roombots » est d’utiliser des concepts de la robotique modulaire et reconfigurable pour créer des meubles qui assistent une personne âgée ou à mobilité réduite à son domicile. En utilisant des modules motorisés qui peuvent être connectés ensemble et/ou attachés à des meubles existants, l’idée est de créer des meubles qui se déplacent, se transforment et changent de fonctionnalités au cours de la journée. Par exemple, cela pourra permettre de créer un tabouret qui suit constamment une personne, ou au contraire des meubles qui s’éloignent pour faciliter le passage, ou encore des tables qui se rapprochent d’une personne assise ou un bras articulé qui amène un verre d’eau ou la télécommande. Pour préparer cette vision à long terme, le projet Roombots explorera différentes conceptions de modules du point de vue de la mécanique, de l’électronique et du logiciel, ainsi que différentes options pour les interfaces avec l’utilisateur.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 03.06.2014

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Project partner

Publications

Publication
Roombots extended: Challenges in the next generation of self-reconfigurable modular robots and their application in adaptive and assistive furniture
Hauser S., Mutlu M., Léziart P.-A., Khodr H., Bernardino A., Ijspeert A.J. (2020), Roombots extended: Challenges in the next generation of self-reconfigurable modular robots and their application in adaptive and assistive furniture, in Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 127, 103467-103467.
Compliant universal grippers as adaptive feet in legged robots
Hauser S., Mutlu M., Banzet P., Ijspeert A.J. (2018), Compliant universal grippers as adaptive feet in legged robots, in Advanced Robotics, 32(15), 825-836.
Effects of passive and active joint compliance in quadrupedal locomotion
Mutlu M., Hauser S., Bernardino A., Ijspeert A. J. (2018), Effects of passive and active joint compliance in quadrupedal locomotion, in Advanced Robotics, 32(15), 809-824.
JammJoint: A Variable Stiffness Device Based on Granular Jamming for Wearable Joint Support
Hauser Simon, Robertson Matthew, Ijspeert Auke, Paik Jamie (2017), JammJoint: A Variable Stiffness Device Based on Granular Jamming for Wearable Joint Support, in IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, (2), 849-855.
Active stabilization of a stiff quadruped robot using local feedback
Vasconcelos Rui, Hauser Simon, Dzeladini Florin, Mutlu Mehmet, Horvat Tomislav, Melo Kamilo, Oliveira Paulo, Ijspeert Auke (2017), Active stabilization of a stiff quadruped robot using local feedback, in 2017 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), VancouverIEEE, Vancouver.
Fast state-switching of a jamming-based foot
Hauser Simon, Melo Kamilo, Mutlu Mehmet, Ijspeert Auke (2017), Fast state-switching of a jamming-based foot, in The 8th International Symposium on Adaptive Motion of Animals and Machines, SapporoIEEE, Sapporo.
Self-reconfigurable modular robot interface using virtual reality: Arrangement of furniture made out of roombots modules
Nigolian Valentin, Mutlu Mehmet, Hauser Simon, Bernardino Alexandre, Ijspeert Auke (2017), Self-reconfigurable modular robot interface using virtual reality: Arrangement of furniture made out of roombots modules, in 2017 26th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication, LisboaIEEE, Lisboa.
Friction and damping of a compliant foot based on granular jamming for legged robots
Hauser Simon, Eckert Peter, Tuleu Alexandre, Ijspeert Auke (2016), Friction and damping of a compliant foot based on granular jamming for legged robots, in 2016 6th IEEE International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics, SingaporeIEEE, Singapore.
Natural user interface for lighting control: Case study on desktop lighting using modular robots
Mutlu Mehmet, Bonardi Stephane, Vespignani Massimo, Hauser Simon, Bernardino Alexandre, Ijspeert Auke (2016), Natural user interface for lighting control: Case study on desktop lighting using modular robots, in 2016 25th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication, PurdueIEEE, Purdue.
Playdough to Roombots: towards a novel tangible user interface for self-reconfigurable modular robots
Mutlu Mehmet, Hauser Simon, Bernardino Alexandre, Ijspeert Auke, Playdough to Roombots: towards a novel tangible user interface for self-reconfigurable modular robots, in 2018 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), BrisbaneIEEE, Brisbane.
Stiffness variability in jamming of compliant granules and a case study application in climbing vertical shafts
Hauser Simon, Mutlu Mehmet, Freundler Frederic, Ijspeert Auke, Stiffness variability in jamming of compliant granules and a case study application in climbing vertical shafts, in 2018 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), BrisbaneIEEE, Brisbane.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
DomoSafety Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Biorobots: Dissected Individual talk Bio-inspired robotics 28.10.2015 San Francisco, United States of America Ijspeert Auke Jan; Vespignani Massimo; Hauser Simon;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Talks/events/exhibitions Ars Electronica International 2016
Media relations: radio, television Cybathlon SRF 1 Rhaeto-Romanic Switzerland Western Switzerland Italian-speaking Switzerland German-speaking Switzerland 2016
Talks/events/exhibitions Bay Area Science Festival San Francisco International 2015

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
177179 Modeling pathological gait resulting from motor impairments: compare and combine neuromechanical simulation and machine learning approaches 01.09.2018 Sinergia

Abstract

This project aims at merging ideas from self-reconfigurable robotics, assistive/rehabilitation robotics, and domotics monitoring in order to create adaptive and assistive furniture. In the long run, such assistive furniture will be particularly dedicated towards elderly persons and persons (of all ages) with a motor handicap with the goal to allow them to live independently at home as long as possible.The key idea of the project is to use concepts from modular robotics to design robot technology that is merged with, or even hidden in the house environment and the furniture. We aim at a smart environment where the robotic furniture is at the service of the user and provides an environment to enhance autonomy. On the long term, this will lead to multifunctional robotic furniture that can interact with users, help them recover from a fall, monitor their health, help them transfer between different positions (laying/sitting/standing), help them manipulate objects, and move away from or closer to the user depending on his/her needs. The whole environment will be made of the following elements: modular hardware components (based on existing Roombots modules), distributed sensors, multimodal user interfaces, and a software architecture for distributed locomotion control and distributed reconfiguration planning. The hardware technology will be modular such as to allow flexible use, easy plug-and-play, and gradual implementation in the house. A smart environment will be designed that monitors the users, coordinates multiple robotic modules and distributed sensors, provides intuitive and easy to use interfaces, as well as offers the possibility to contact trusted persons in case of emergencies.The project is constructed around three carefully designed scenarios with robotic technology that helps with (1) recovery from falls, (2) assistive furniture, and (3) movement training and rehabilitation. Such a scenario-driven research should lead to: (i) a series of interesting scientific questions, (ii) useful technological developments, and (iii) original final demonstrators.
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