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School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering SEMINAR SERIES (4-30-2020)

Design of Soft Robots: Smart Actuation and Controlled Motion

Dr. Venkatsubramanian Kalpathy Venkiteswaran, Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomechanical Engineering at University of Twente

Venkatsubramanian Kalpathy Venkiteswaran

Thursday April 30th, 2020
11:00am to Noon,
ETRL room 101


Password: 7p20j9


Smart devices, intelligent materials and soft robots are paving the way for rapid technological advancements, and are currently among the hottest topics of research in engineering and robotics. Soft robots with embedded actuation and sensing capabilities have the potential to perform a variety of tasks, including navigating restricted spaces and providing distributed contact not possible using traditional robots. However, significant challenges exist in transforming these concepts into functional devices due to issues in modeling large deformations, controlling dynamics of motion and actuating continuum devices. This talk will cover design, modeling and actuation techniques for soft robots, continuum manipulators and compliant mechanisms, with an eye on surgical, biomedical and scientific application. Recent developments in bio‐inspired untethered magnetic soft robots will be discussed, demonstrating interesting motion capabilities. A novel design for a metallic continuum manipulator for high precision motion will be described. Reduced order computationally‐efficient models for analysis of flexible members will be detailed, for implementation in closed‐loop actuation. These developments in various aspects of soft robots and continuum devices are expected to improve the functionality and utility of these devices for applications ranging from minimally invasive surgical procedures to scientific exploration.


Venkatsubramanian Kalpathy Venkiteswaran is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomechanical Engineering at University of Twente. Prior to that, he was a post‐doctoral research fellow at the Surgical Robotics Lab at University of Twente for two years. He received his doctoral degree in Mechanical Engineering from The Ohio State University, USA, working on design principles for compliant mechanisms. Venkat’s research interests include design of soft robots and flexible devices, with a focus on medical application. He is currently working on projects related to bio‐inspired untethered magnetic soft robots, flexure‐based design of continuum manipulators, magnetic catheters for percutaneous coronary interventions, geometrically‐exact models for continuum devices and the use of magnetic actuation systems for minimally‐invasive surgery.