Universal tool for safe robot control

NEWS, Robotics |

A team of MIRMI scientists have developed the generalized Safe Motion Unit (gSMU) as a comprehensive tool for safe pre-collision control of almost all robots. Their novel safety approach benefits from a modular scalable approach for obtaining the whole-body dynamics in a lego-like fashion. Questions to scientist Mazin Hamad.

In the picture: Martin Magnusson, the Örebro University (Sweden) based researcher and scientific manager of the EU project DARKO (on Dynamic Agile production Robots that learn and optimise Knowledge and Operations), next to a DARKO robot platform.

What did you find out no one did before?

We proposed an integrated framework for whole-body dynamics and generalized impact safety for arbitrary floating-base articulated robots. Our novel framework benefits from a modular scalable approach (also developed by us) for obtaining the whole-body dynamics in a lego-like fashion, while resulting in less complex and more efficient representations. It further allows obtaining modular and generalized impact dynamics, that are then exploited to introduce (for the first time ever) the generalized Safe Motion Unit (gSMU) as a comprehensive safety-certifiable tool for safe pre-collision control of arbitrary floating-base tree-like robots.

Robotics: New Safety concept as basis for certifications

Where do you see the practical relevance of this paper? 

By integrating an efficient dynamics approach on the one hand together with generalized human pain/injury biomechanics-based safety concepts and standardized human-safe control algorithms on the other hand, our integrated framework contributes to solving significant safety hurdles for complex mobile systems (including autonomous cars, flying robots, etc.). Specifically, ensuring human-safe operation of mobile manipulators and subsequently integrating them into real-world cooperative scenarios is already demonstrated and validated with extensive realistic simulation use cases and through real-world experiments in intralogistic warehouses shared with human coworkers. Proposing unified dynamics and safety schemes for arbitrary robots, which consider possible whole-body impact dynamics in real-time, we believe our work moves the robotics science/community one step closer to true mobile manipulation in industrial or domestic environments.

Has your research been part of a funded research project? Which?

Yes, it was funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (under projects ILIAD & DARKO) and also by the Bavarian State Ministry for Economic Affairs (under project SafeRoBAY).

To the Paper

Modularize-and-Conquer: A Generalized Impact Dynamics and Safe Precollision Control Framework for Floating-Base Tree-Like Robots

Mazin Hamad; Alexander Kurdas; Nico Mansfeld; Saeed Abdolshah; Sami Haddadin

IEEE Transaction on Robotics, 2023 

To a video

Further Articles

From Cobots to Tactile Robots: How tactile robots make human-robot collaboration (HRC) safe

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