On 01.02.19 Prof. Alessandro Saccon from the Eindhoven University of Technology visits the MSRM and gives a talk on the topic "Robot control under impact" (09:00-10:00 h, lecture hall, Heßstr. 134). Prof. Saccon is especially known for his research on the developement of innovative control strategies for robotic systems with multiple intermittent contacts.
In many application domains, innovative solutions for autonomous manipulation and locomotion are demanded for increasing productivity and safety. One of the bottlenecks that currently limits the throughput and application range is the lack of fully-fledged control paradigms that can be used to plan, monitor, and execute complex tasks involving non-zero-speed contact transitions, also known as impacts. State-of-the-art mechatronic design allows robotic systems to withstand physical impacts with the environment without being damaged. Despite this, the industrial practice is still dominated by very fast free and constrained motions, alternated by contact transitions occurring at almost zero speed. Allowing for stable and robust motions involving complex non-zero-speed contact transitions would permit next-generation robotic and mechatronic systems to execute many repetitive and dangerous tasks that are now performed by human operators simply because no other alternatives are present. Furthermore, in application fields such as logistics or manufacturing, the development of human speed manipulators able to dynamically pick and place objects would allow to handle many more parcels or product parts per unit time, with advantages for both productivity and operator comfort. The talk will provide an overview of the research I am conducting, in collaboration with various other researchers in the field, on this fascinating topic.
Dr. Alessandro Saccon received the laurea degree cum laude in computer engineering and the Ph.D. degree in control system theory from the University of Padova, Italy, in 2002 and 2006. His thesis received the Claudio Maffezzoni best PhD thesis award by the Politecnico di Milano. After the completion of his PhD studies, he held until 2009 a research and development position at University of Padova in joint collaboration with Ducati Corse working on control and optimization methods for the exploration of the dynamics of racing motorcycles for virtual prototyping studies, using multi-body models and numerical optimal control methods. From 2009 until 2012, he held a post-doctoral research position at the Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisbon, Portugal, sponsored by the Portuguese Science and Technology Foundation (FCT), working on motion planning, dynamics, and control of autonomous robotic vehicles. Since 2013, he is an Assistant Professor on nonlinear control and robotics at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands. His areas of expertise include modeling, analysis, and control multi-body systems, geometric and nonsmooth mechanics, nonlinear control theory, and numerical optimal control. Recent work has focused on dynamics and control of mechatronic systems with unilateral constraints, with emphasis on robot control under impact for enhancing manipulation and locomotion capabilities.