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Dynamics and Control of soft robots - developing realistic models and control schemes to shape the dynamics of electroactive polymers


Project Description

Dielectric elastomers are soft, muscle-like actuators that have seen a great uptake in robotics. The main reasons being the improved manoeuvrability and dexterity they provide. Yet, due to their small force capacity and highly nonlinear behaviour, optimal control schemes are required to ensure the efficient usage of their full potential. The aim of this research is to develop realistic models and control schemes to shape the dynamics of these electroactive polymers. Precise positioning by overcoming the inherent actuator nonlinearities as well as exogenous disturbances will be the key goal of this exercise. This is an exciting research field and advances herewith can impact a wide range of technologies such as biomedical and surgical devices, prosthesis and implants, super-dexterous robots, responsive surfaces etc.

The successful candidate should have (or expect to achieve) a minimum of a UK Honours degree at 2.1 or above (or equivalent) in Electrical / Mechanical / Control Engineering.

A strong background in dynamics / control is a must. Preferably, the prospective candidate must have a good understanding and experience in working with at least two of the following concepts:
1. Nonlinear system dynamics
2. Nonlinear control
3. Optimization
4. Differential Equations
MATLAB and SIMULINK, will be used extensively throughout this project and LabView will be used for experiments as and when required.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE:

Formal applications can be completed online: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/postgraduate/apply. You should apply for Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering, to ensure that your application is passed to the correct person for processing.

NOTE CLEARLY THE NAME OF THE SUPERVISOR AND EXACT PROJECT TITLE YOU WISH TO BE CONSIDERED FOR ON THE APPLICATION FORM.

Informal inquiries can be made to Dr S Aphale () with a copy of your curriculum vitae and cover letter. All general enquiries should be directed to the Postgraduate Research School ().

Funding Notes

There is no funding attached to this project. It is for self-funded students only.

References

Feedforward deformation control of a dielectric elastomer actuator based on a nonlinear dynamic model, Guo-Ying Gu, Ujjaval Gupta, Jian Zhu, Li-Min Zhu, and Xiang-Yang Zhu: Applied Physics Letters 107, 042907 (2015); doi: 10.1063/1.4927767.

How good is research at Aberdeen University in General Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 38.60

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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