A NOVEL TIP POSITIONING CONTROL ALGORITHM FOR ADVANCED COLONOSCOPY TESTED ON A TERRINET PLATFORM
TERRINet SUCCESS STORY: A novel algorithm for control
of growing soft-continuum robots was tested in the framework of the TERRINet
Project. In fact, the robotic platform STIFF-FLOP
available at the BioRobotics Institute of the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (Pisa,
Italy) was used to implement the research proposal. The experimental results have
targeted the scientific challenges for a more accurate colonoscopy performance.
Burcu Seyidoğlu. A young researcher and M.S. Student
of Mechanical Engineering Department at Boğaziçi University in Turkey. She has
been involved in a research project to develop a novel robotic colonoscopy
device for painless, perforation-free, and haemorrhage-free colonoscopy.
Burcu’s main contribution to the project was a novel
tip positioning control algorithm, which enabled a more accurate guide of colonoscopy
device throughout the colon.
The scientific contribution of this algorithm consists
in two key segments: (1) ability to enhance position accuracy by deformation
correction, (2) consideration of external loads when calculating robot’s tip
Burcu applied to the first TERRINet Open Call for TERRINet
Trans-National Access because she was interested in challenging the performance
of the algorithm on a more advanced platform. Her key research question was
whether the algorithm exchange could result in even more increased precision, accurateness
and robustness of the end-effector.
A FREE-OF-CHARGE ACCESS TO 100+ ROBOTIC PLATFORMS
Among the wide portfolio of TERRINet platforms
available for access, Burcu decided to test her algorithm on the omnidirectional
soft robotic arm Stiff-Flop Soft Manipulator.
The platform has revealed as a perfect match for
Burcu’s experiments. Indeed, the Stiff-Flop Soft Manipulator is widely
recognised as a platform suitable for control algorithm testing.
The Stiff-Flop Soft Manipulator is offered from the BioRobotics
Institute of the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (Pisa, Italy). The BioRobotics
Institute is an Italian research leader in the field of biorobotics with high
expertise in surgical robotics, neural engineering, cognitive systems, soft
ALGORITHM IMPLEMENTATION BY USING THE STIFF-FLOP
With the support of highly qualified researchers from
The BioRobotics Institute, Burcu set a three-phase model for algorithm
implementation on the Stiff-Flop Soft Manipulator.
The first phase focused on the study and the
understanding of the existing Stiff-Flop’s algorithm. Based on the results of silicon’s
shore hardness effect on bending and stiffening the robot, a code for
Stiff-Flop’s tip positioning was developed. As displayed in Picture 2, the difference
between the positioning coordinates of the end-effector (tip) and the desired
position was less than 5%. The results was considered as acceptable.
In the second phase, the code developed was
implemented on the Stiff-Flop. The end-effector’s (tip) positioning was tested again,
this time by applying different pressure values (0, 0.25, 0.50, 0.75 and 1 bar)
to the robotic chambers. The results showed (Picture 3) that position errors up
to 0.5 bar were acceptable, whereas greater errors resulted in leakages of the chambers
pressure, followed by undesired bending that affected position results.
The third phase was devoted to end-effector (tip) position
testing by using Aurora magnetic tracking sensor (Picture 4). The aim was to
compare the errors between sensor values and algorithm values in order to
improve the algorithm performance.
DID THE EXPERIMENT SUCCEED?
The experimental results showed that:
-algorithm implementation in a different soft robot is
possible, although additional applications of material modelling are required (such
as Ogden Material Model);
-end-effector position mistakes occurred due to load
consideration into position calculations. The test showed that the end-effector
load consideration is not required when implementing algorithm on light-weighted
manipulators, such as Stiff-Flop.
-the application of magnetic sensor to Stiff-Flop
requires a more effective and vibration-free experimental setup, since such
circumstances can unintentionally effect the results.
CAN TERRINet TNA SCALE YOUR SCIENTIFIC CAREER?
Burcu evaluates her overall TNA experience as remarkable,
since it gave her the opportunity to work with highly qualified researchers in
the field of soft robotics and to conduct experiment on an innovative forefront
platform, such as the Stiff-Flop soft manipulator.
She was able to expand her knowledge in the field of
soft robotics, especially about stiffness variations, hyper-elastic material
modelling, and shore hardness.
She also had the opportunity to use the equipment such
as Aurora magnetic tracking sensors and to design a setup for precise position
values for the first time.
Burcu recommends to apply, to all of you EARLY-STAGE RESEARCHERS,
since this opportunity can really support your persuasion of scientific career.
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