Title: Using Kinematic Redundancy to Design Fault Tolerant Robotic Systems
Speaker: Anthony A. Maciejewski, Professor and Head, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Colorado State University
Abstract: Operations in remote or extremely hazardous environments, e.g., in space, underwater, or in nuclear/chemical waste sites, are frequently performed by robotic devices. Unfortunately, the very nature of these environments makes the probability of a failure in the mechanical or electronic hardware of the robot more likely. Because by definition the operating environment precludes the intervention of a human to repair or retrieve the device, fault tolerance becomes a critical issue. By fault tolerance it is meant that damage to any portion of the robotic system, such as the mechanical actuators, control electronics, sensors, etc., will not render the system uncontrollable. A damaged fault tolerant system can be operated, albeit in a somewhat degraded capacity, to complete the assigned task or at a minimum to retrieve the robotic device without compromising the working environment. This presentation will focus on two approaches for designing failure tolerant robotic systems. The first is to develop software that can control robots of an arbitrary design to achieve maximum fault tolerance. This would allow the use of conventional manipulators to their maximum capability, regardless of the extent of the damage to the device. The second is to design robotic arms with kinematic redundancy that maximizes the dexterity and maneuverability of the arm after the occurrence of a fault.
Speaker Bio: Tony Maciejewski received a PhD degree in Electrical Engineering from The Ohio State University and served on the faculty at Purdue University for 14 years. He is currently the Head of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Colorado State University. He is a Fellow of the IEEE for his contributions to the design and control of kinematically redundant robots.