Lockheed Martin Robotics Seminar
Design and Integration of Novel Field Robots and Robotic Exoskeletons
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Founding Director, Robotics and Mechatronics Laboratory
George Washington University
As natural and man-made disasters occur, from earthquakes, tornados, and hurricanes to chemical spills and nuclear meltdowns, there is a need for field robotic systems that are able to respond in these hazardous and dangerous environments. The prevailing design paradigm of state-of-the-art mobile robots comprises a stand-alone manipulator arm mounted on a locomotion platform, each with distinct functionalities that are not interchangeable. This approach renders the overall system functionally limited in rough terrain applications.
This seminar will start with presenting a novel hybrid mechanism robot whereby the locomotion and manipulation platforms are designed as one entity to support both locomotion and manipulation symbiotically. Experimental results demonstrate the robot’s unique capabilities, such as traversing challenging obstacles and manipulating heavy payloads; functions often required in challenging applications, such as search & rescue and exploring dangerous environments.
This seminar will then present the extension of this research to new designs of self-reconfigurable and modular field mobile robots that can actively bond multiple robotic agents into hybrid formations. The formations enable scalable mobility and manipulation configurations to accomplish tasks that would otherwise be difficult with a single robotic module or with a fixed-structure mobile robot.
The seminar will also describe recent results on the design and control of bio-inspired robotic tails capable of maneuvering legged robots. Finally, I will describe our research on robotic exoskeletons for applications including gesture-based mobile robot tele-operation and upper-extremity hand rehabilitation. Time permitting, I will describe ongoing research on autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) safe launch and recovery from naval vessels with a wireless instrumentation system for sensing and monitoring ship air wake.
Dr. Pinhas Ben-Tzvi is an Associate Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and the founding Director of the Robotics and Mechatronics Laboratory at the George Washington University (GWU). He received the B.S. degree (Summa Cum Laude) in Mechanical Engineering from the Technion -- Israel Institute of Technology in 2000 and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toronto, in 2004 and 2008, respectively. Before joining University of Toronto in 2002, he was an R&D engineer at General Electric Medical Systems Company developing medical diagnostic robotic and mechatronic systems. Dr. Ben-Tzvi's current research interests are in robotics & autonomous systems, mechatronics, dynamic systems and control, mechanism/machine design and system integration, and novel sensors and actuators. Examples of applications of his research include autonomous mobile robots with symbiosis of locomotion and manipulation and modular & reconigurable mobile robotics for search & rescue and hazardous environment sensing and monitoring; design of intelligent biomimetic robotic tails for robust dynamic stabilization and agile maneuvering of mobile robots on rough terrain; autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) launch and recovery from naval vessels; haptics devices and upper-extremity exoskeletons for tele-operation and rehabilitation therapy; advanced medical devices and robotic systems for precision surgery; and novel smart sensors and actuators for biomedical applications. He has authored and co-authored more than 70 peer-reviewed journal articles and refereed papers in conference proceedings and is the inventor of 5 US patents and a Canadian patent. He is the recipient of the 2013 GW SEAS Outstanding Young Researcher Award and the 2013 GW SEAS Outstanding Young Teacher Award, as well as several other honors and awards including best paper awards and is active in the professional community, such as organizing conferences and workshops. Dr. Ben-Tzvi is the Associate Editor for the Int'l Journal of Control, Automation and Systems and served as an Associate Editor for IEEE ICRA 2013 and 2014. Dr. Ben-Tzvi is a senior member of IEEE and a member of ASME.