Master Student Projects

Below is a list of currently available research project at RRL. If you are interested in carrying out one of the projects please contact the person responsible.

Pneumagami Modules Towards Continuum Manipulator

We have developed a new modular robotic platform called  ‘pneumagami’ for enabling reconfigurable, actively controlled, high-DoF systems with compact form factor. A pneumagami module consist  of an origami inspired structure, pouch soft pneumatic actuators (SPAs) and embedded power and control components. It exploit advantages of origami inspired construction methods and materials, and soft pneumatic actuators to achieve an actuator embedded, parallel  kinematic mechanism with three independently controlled waterbomb base legs. The inherently low weight and compact form factor enable a space and weight efficienct robotic platform which does not sacrifice strength, high mobility or range of motion. The onboard hardware  allows multiple modules to be connected in series with independent control over powered degrees of freedom while allowing single lines to be used for pneumatic distribution, forward and feedback control signals which enables the assembly of large networks of modules towards a compact, customizable continuum manipulator.

Expected work:

  • Optimize and simplify the manufacturing process of the modules
  • Study and fabricate 3/2 valve and compare it with the current valves
  • Develop air tight connectors for soft pneumatic actuators
  • Apply open and closed loop control over pneumatic actuation
  • Create a test setup and characterize the modules
Type: Semester project, Master Project (full-time)
Type of work: 60% hardware, 25% control, 15% theory
Requirements: Mechanical design (CAD), micro-controller programming, electronics
Pneumatics, Soft Pneumatic Actuators, Origami Inspired Modular Robots
Responsible(s): Özdemir Can Kara, Jamie Paik

Reconfigurable Floating Power Modules

In order to reduce water evaporation while harvesting solar energy for efficient and sustainable energy management in dry area. We developed a modular robotic chain able to self-reconfigure, forming a 2D surface in order to adapt to water storage with different sizes and shapes. This surface can float on a farming reservoir and acts as a protective layer between the water and the sun radiation. By reducing the sun exposition, the evaporation process is lessened, allowing a better conservation of the water resources.

This chain is composed of modules, each one carrying a solar cell. Once assembled and the reservoir covered, the surface created can be considered as a solar panel composed by the solar element of all the modules. The modules are linked together by flexible joints or torsional actuators. This ensures the overall structure to cover any kind of reservoir form, even complex. All the links between modules and actuators can be disconnected, allowing an easy intervention in case of dysfunction and an efficient assembly of the chain.

Expected work in this project:

  • Optimize and simplify the manufacturing process of the modules
  • Develop robust modular and waterproof connections between modules
  • Improve the system robustness and stability while floating on the water
  • Optimize the power efficiency and characterize the pneumatic actuators
  • Implement a safer and more efficient electronic system to distribute and store the power generated by the solar cells.
Type: Masters project (full-time)
Period: To be defined
Type of work: 70% hardware, 20% characterization, 10% electronics
Requirements: Mechanical design (CAD), Electronics basics, Matlab
Subject(s): Robotics, Soft pneumatic actuators, Energy
Responsible(s): Frédéric Giraud, Jamie Paik

Autonomous and Self-Reconfigurable Multi-Locomotive Origami Robots

Robogami Masters

Applications such as emergency mitigation, search, environmental monitoring and space exploration require compact and lightweight robot designs with adaptable bodies and locomotion skills for crossing uneven terrains and passages, and their rapid and low-cost mass fabrication, which pose great design challenges. We demonstrated that origami-inspired design can address these key challenges altogether by constructing various versions of multi-gait origami robot Tribot.​​

The main goal of the project is to design and fabricate the new generation of Tribot, using novel origami manufacturing techniques to equip robots with:

– Autonomy: on-board batteries, controller and multiple sensors;
– Reconfigurability: automated folding and deployment;
– Adaptable locomotion skills: jumping, rolling, walking, etc;
– Smart material-based actuation and sensing.​

Type: Semester project, Master project (full-time)
Period: To be defined
Type of work: 60% multi-layer fabrication, 20% research, 20% theory
Requirements: CAD design, electronics and micro-controller programming
Subject(s): Origami robots, Folding Mechanisms, Smart Actuators and Sensors
Responsible(s): Zhenishbek Zhakypov, Jamie Paik