Research

The REACH lab is involved in a host of applied and fundamental research projects. Much of the lab’s work is interdisciplinary and collaborative. Areas of interest include medical robotics, haptics, human-robot interaction, manufacturing, and electromechanical systems

Medical Robotics

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Haptics

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Human-Robot Physical Interaction

Human-Robot Physical Interaction

Manufacturing and Applied Controls

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Medical Robotics

Haptics

    Recent work

  • NSF National Robotics Initiative Project Funded (High-Power Physically Interactive Human-Robot Collaboration through Balanced Active-Passive Hybrid Actuation) A new project, entitled “High-Power Physically Interactive Human-Robot Collaboration through Balanced Active-Passive Hybrid Actuation” has been funded through the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) National Robotics Initiative (NRI).  An overview of the project is given below: PI:     Prof. Peter Adaczyk Department of Mechanical Engineering University of Wisconsin – Madison Co-PI:   Prof. Michael Zinn Department of Mechanical Engineering University of Wisconsin – Madison Overview The research will ...
  • Haptics Symposium 2018: Best WIP Paper Award, Best Student Presentation Finalist, and Best Paper Nominee Congratulations to this year’s REACH lab members for a very successful IEEE Haptics Symposium. Best Work-In-Progress Paper Award (Patrick Dills) Dills, P., Fufuengsin, I., Zinn, M., Design and Analysis of a High Performance Impedance Based Hybrid Haptic Interface,  IEEE Haptics Symposium; March 25-28, 2018; San Francisco Best Student Presentation Finalist and Best Paper Nominee (Chembian Parthiban) Chembian Parthiban, Michael Zinn, ...
  • IEEE Haptics Symposium 2018: Design and Analysis of a High Performance Impedance Based Hybrid Haptic Interface WINNER! – Best Work-In-Progress Paper This paper describes the design of a novel, high performance one degree-of-freedom hybrid haptic interface. The interface integrates a particle brake, a Series Elastic Actuator (SEA), and a small DC motor into a single actuator. Unlike existing hybrid designs, the one presented here does not suffer from a significant mismatch between passive and active torque capability. The ...
  • IEEE Haptics Symposium 2018: Performance and Stability Limitations of Admittance-based Haptic Interfaces. Best Student Presentation Finalist & Best Paper Award Nominee In this paper, we describe an analytical model developed to investigate the performance limitations of admittance-based haptic interfaces. The model is used to investigate the effects that position control bandwidth and outer loop delay have on the stability and rendering range of an admittance-based interface. We show that the performance, as defined by both ...
  • Milestone: Mechanical Design Review Completed! The Hybrid Actuation Project has completed its final mechanical design review for the one degree of freedom testbed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K38cvl2kv4A&feature=youtu.be
  • IEEE/ASME Transacations on Mechatronics 2013 – Development of a Parallel Actuation Approach for MR-Compatible Robotics Abstract — In recent years, the use of robotics to augment MRI diagnostic and interventional procedures has increased significantly. However, the demanding MRI environment precludes the use of most common actuation approaches. Alternative actuation concepts have been proposed but these solutions do not lend themselves to linear control structures. We present a new actuation method, using the motion of parallel ultrasonic motors ...
  • Haptics Symposium 2014 Recap In October 2013 we submitted a paper on A Simplified Approach to Admittance-type Haptic Device Impedance Evaluation for the IEEE Haptics Symposium to be held in March 2013. To address the challenges in evaluating the transparency, or output impedance more generally, of admittance-type haptic devices due to their inherently non-back-drivable mechanical characteristics, we have described ...
  • Hapctics Symposium Workshop 2012 Recap Mike gave a presentation on Admittance-based Haptic Interface Performance Evaluation and Associated Challenges in a Worshop on Hardware Evaluation Practices held at the IEEE Haptics Symposium in March 2012 at Vancouver, Canada.  The presentation gives an overview of the differences between the impedance based and the admittance based haptic devices and the challenges associated in the evaluating ...
  • Haptics Symposium 2012 Recap In recent years, the use of haptics within the MRI environment has increased, particularly for fMRI procedures. However, the demanding MRI environment has made the development of high performance devices very difficult, as most common actuation approaches are not well suited to the high-strength magnetic fields present in the MR-bore. We presented a poster at the ...
  • BIOROB 2010 – Development of a Differential Actuator Concept for MR-Compatible Robotic Applications Abstract—In recent years, the use of robotics to augment MRI diagnostic and interventional procedures has increased significantly. However, the demanding MRI environment precludes the use of most common actuation approaches. Alternative actuation concepts have been proposed but these solutions do not lend themselves to linear control topologies. We present a new actuation method, using the motion of parallel ultrasonic motors combined through ...

Human-Robot Physical Interacation

    Recent work

  • NSF National Robotics Initiative Project Funded (Communicating Physical Interactions) A new project, entitled “Communicating Physical Interactions” has been funded through the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) National Robotics Initiative (NRI).  An overview of the project is given below: PI:     Prof. Michael Gleicher Department of Computer Science University of Wisconsin – Madison Co-PI: Prof. Bilge Mutlu Department of Computer Science University of Wisconsin – Madison Co-PI: Prof. Michael Zinn Department of Mechanical Engineering University of Wisconsin – Madison Overview: In ...
  • NSF National Robotics Initiative Project Funded (High-Power Physically Interactive Human-Robot Collaboration through Balanced Active-Passive Hybrid Actuation) A new project, entitled “High-Power Physically Interactive Human-Robot Collaboration through Balanced Active-Passive Hybrid Actuation” has been funded through the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) National Robotics Initiative (NRI).  An overview of the project is given below: PI:     Prof. Peter Adaczyk Department of Mechanical Engineering University of Wisconsin – Madison Co-PI:   Prof. Michael Zinn Department of Mechanical Engineering University of Wisconsin – Madison Overview The research will ...
  • ICRA/RAL 2018 – Recognizing Geometric Constraints in Human Demonstrations using Force and Position Signals Abstract—This paper introduces a method for recognizing geometric constraints from human demonstrations using both position and force measurements. Our key idea is that position information alone is insufficient to determine that a constraint is active and reaction forces must also be considered to correctly distinguish constraints from movements that just happen to follow a particular ...
  • Instrumented Tongs – An input method for tactile manipulations As most interactions with everyday objects involve complicated force interactions, we design and built instrumented tongs that measure dynamic interaction with objects in the environment. This novel approach allows accurate measurement of interactions in a controlled environment while still maintaining dexterity. These tongs measure grasp forces using two optoforce force sensors. We measure the location ...
  • IROS 2017 – Recognizing Actions during Tactile Manipulations through Force Sensing Abstract—In this paper we provide a method for identifying and temporally localizing tactile force actions from measured force signals. Our key idea is to use the continuous wavelet transform (CWT) with the Complex Morlet wavelet to transform force signals into feature vectors amenable to machine learning algorithms. Our method uses these feature vectors to train ...
  • IEEE Haptics Symposium 2008: Large Workspace Haptic Devices – A New Actuation Approach Large workspace haptic devices have unique requirements, requiring increased power capabilities along with increased safety considerations. While there are numerous haptic devices available, large workspace systems are hampered by the limitations of current actuation technology. To address this, the Distributed Macro-Mini (DM2 ) actuation method has been applied to the design of a large workspace ...
  • International Journal of Robotics Research (IJRR) 2004: A New Actuation Approach for Human-friendly Robot Design In recent years, many successful robotic manipulator designs have been introduced. However, there remains the challenge of designing a manipulator that possesses the inherent safety characteristics necessary for human-centered robotics. In this paper, we present a new actuation approach that has the requisite characteristics for inherent safety while maintaining the performance expected of modern designs. ...

Manufacturing and Controls