News

  • NASA University Leadership Initiative Lunch and Learn Industrial systems engineering  professor Robert Radwin and REACH lab Ph.D. student Mike Hagenow recently traveled to Washington DC to take part in the NASA University Leadership Initiative (ULI) project lunch and learn. They were joined by the other round awardees from University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign and Carnegie Mellon University as well as staff from the NASA Aeronautics ...
  • Congratulations: Guru Subramani has successfully defended his Ph.D. Dissertation June 5th, 2019: Please join me in congratulating Guru on the successful defense of his Ph.D. dissertation: “Recognizing and inferring physical actions from human demonstrations for robot programming”.  Congrats to Guru and thank you for all of the hard work!
  • NASA Project Funded (Aviation Manufacturing) A new project has been funded through the National  Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) University Leadership Initiative.  Greater detail is provided below: University of Wisconsin-Madison engineering professor Michael Zinn is working to improve the efficiency, flexibility and safety of the aviation manufacturing industry as part of a new NASA-funded project. Zinn, an associate professor of mechanical engineering, is collaborating with computer ...
  • Congratulations: Bolun Zhang and Kaitlyn Gabardi Receive Teaching Awards Bolun Zhang received the F. M. Young Distinguished Teaching Award granted by Pi Tau Sigma, an international Mechanical Engineering Honor Society for the second time.  Bolun was working as a teaching assistant for ME 342 – design of machine elements.   Kaitlyn Gabardi received the TA of the Year Elective Course award from the Department of Biomedical Engineering.  Kaitlyn ...
  • UW-Madison TV Spot UW-Madison television spot aired during 2018-2019 football and basketball games.  Watch carefully and you’ll see Prof. Zinn and the lab.
  • High-Performance-Process-Control-through-Realtime-Feedback-and-Estimation Presentation on High-Performance-Process-Control-through-Realtime-Feedback-and-Estimation given at the Advanced Manufacturing Die Casting Initiative Technical Workshop at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on November 9, 2018 hosted by the Grainger Institute for Engineering (GIE) and the Midwest Energy Research Consortium (M-WERC).
  • Congratulations: Chembian Parthiban has successfully defended his Ph.D. Dissertation February 8th, 2019: Please join me in congratulating Chembian on the successful defense of his Ph.D. dissertation: “Stability, Performance and Control of High Power, High Performance Kinesthetic Haptic Interface “.  A hearty thanks to Chembian for all his hard 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 ...
  • Congratulations: WoongJo (Jo) Choi has successfully defended his Ph.D. Dissertation June 14th, 2018: Please join me in congratulating Jo on the successful defense of his Ph.D. dissertation: “In-Process Monitoring and Data Analysis for Quality Control of Friction Stir Welding”.  A hearty thanks to Jo for all his hard work!
  • M.S. Thesis and Defense – Conley, A: The Design of a Wireless System for Closed-Loop Control and High-Resolution Data Acquisition of the Friction Stir Welding Process May 2nd, 2018:  Andrew Conley, an M.S. student in the UW Robotics Engineering, Applied Controls, and Haptics Lab (REACH Lab) has successfully completed his M.S. Thesis Defense.  Andrew’s research focused on the development of a high data-rate, low latency wireless temperature measurement system to facilitate the control and experimental investigation of Friction Stir Welding.  Please ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • Congratulations: Bandar Aloyoydi has successfully defended his Ph.D. Dissertation Please join me in congratulating Bandar on the successful defense of his Ph.D. dissertation: “The Control of Friction Stir Welding Plunge Force and Power and Energy Consumption through the Variation of Process Parameters”.   Bandar has accepted a faculty position at Qassim University in Saudi Arabia.  A hearty thanks to Bandar for all his hard work!
  • 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 ...
  • 2nd Midwest Robotics Workshop During 5/18/17 to 5/19/17 Prof. Zinn, Chembian Parthiban, Guru Subramani, and Bolun Zhang, together with Prof. Gleicher‘s group, went to the 2nd Midwest Robotics Workshop at Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago (TTIC). This workshop gathered researchers in the field of robotics from Midwest area, including UW-Madison, TTIC, University of Michigan, UIUC, Purdue University, University of Notre Dame, and Northwestern University. Prof. ...
  • Congratulations: Bolun Zhang Received Pi Tau Sigma F. M. Young Distinguished Teaching Award Apr 26, 2017:  Bolun Zhang, a Ph.D. student in the UW Robotics Engineering, Applied Controls, and Haptics Lab (REACH Lab) received F. M. Young Distinguished Teaching Award granted by Pi Tau Sigma, an international Mechanical Engineering Honor Society.  Bolun was working as a teaching assistant for ME 340 – introduction to dynamics system.  Please join us ...
  • Preliminary Examination – Bandar Aloyaydi has successfully completed his Ph.D. Preliminary Examination presentation Feb 24, 2017:  Bandar Aloyaydi, a Ph.D. student in the UW Robotics Engineering, Applied Controls, and Haptics Lab (REACH Lab) has successfully completed his Ph.D. Preliminary exam.  Bandar’s research has focused on the investigation of force and power transients during Friction Stir Welding.   Please join us in congratulating Bandar on his achievement.
  • Preliminary Examination – Woongjo (Jo) Choi has successfully completed his Ph.D. Preliminary Examination presentation Dec 20, 2016:  Woongjo (Jo) Choi, a Ph.D. student in the UW Robotics Engineering, Applied Controls, and Haptics Lab (REACH Lab) has successfully completed his Ph.D. Preliminary exam.  Jo’s research has focused on the investigation of Friction Stir Welding, with a focus on estimation and control to improve weld quality and minimize energy consumption.  Please ...
  • Ph.D Thesis and Defense – Conrad, B.: Redundant Design and Adaptive Control of an Interleaved Continuum Rigid Manipulator Continuum manipulator compliance enables operation in delicate environments at the cost of challenging actuation and control. In the case of catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation, the compliance of the continuum backbone lends an inherent safety to the device. This inherent safety frustrates attempts at precise, accurate, and fast control, limiting these devices to simple, static ...
  • Midwest Robotics Workshop 2016: Interleaved Continuum-Rigid Manipulation Ben Conrad (graduate student) presented a poster at the 2106 Midwest Robotics Workshop at the Toyota Technical Institute in Chicago.
  • IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics 2016 – Interleaved Continuum-Rigid Manipulation: An Approach to Increase the Capability of Minimally-Invasive Surgical Systems Abstract—Continuum manipulator compliance enables operation in delicate environments while challenging the actuation and control approaches. In the case of a catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation, the compliance of the continuum backbone lends an inherent safety to the device. This inherent safety frustrates attempts at precise, accurate, and fast control, limiting the continuum devices to simple and static positioning tasks. This paper develops ...
  • Preliminary Examination: Ben Conrad has successfully completed his Ph.D. Preliminary Examination presentation Continuum manipulator compliance enables operation in delicate environments at the cost of challenging actuation and control. In the case of catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation, the compliance of the continuum backbone lends an inherent safety to the device. This inherent safety frustrates attempts at precise, accurate, and fast control, limiting their use to simple, static ...
  • ICRA 2015 – Multi-Modal Localization Algorithm for Catheter Interventions Abstract— Localization of steerable catheters in minimally invasive surgery is critical with respect to patient safety, surgeon manipulation, and procedural efficacy. While there are many potential benefits to patients including shorter recovery times, less tissue trauma, and lower infection rates than traditional surgeries, localization of surgical tools is still an area of much research. Current technology offers several sensory modalities. However, each ...
  • ICRA 2015 – Closed Loop Task Space Control of an Interleaved Continuum-Rigid Manipulator A new manipulation approach, referred to as interleaved continuum-rigid manipulation, which combines inherently safe, flexible actuated segments with more precise embedded rigid-link joints has recently been introduced. The redundantly actuated manipulator possesses the safety characteristics inherent in flexible segment devices while gaining some of the performance attributes of rigid-link joint systems. In this paper, we ...
  • ICRA 2015 – Tackling Friction: An analytical modeling approach to understanding friction in single tendon driven continuum manipulators     Abstract: Tendon driven continuum robots have attracted a significant amount of attention in the last decade. As a result several discrete and continuous modeling approaches have been explored in order to understand their behavior. The following article proposes an analytical model describing the influence of frictional effects between the tendon and its conduit in tendon driven ...
  • Advanced Robotics 2014 – A Modeling Approach for Robotic Catheters: Effects of Nonlinear Internal Device Friction Abstract – Recently, robotic surge~ systems using passive flexible catheters have been developed for minimally invasive surgical applications – such as in the treatment of atrial fibrillation – where catheter control in the open chamber of the heart is required. The soft, atraumatic construction of these devices help reduce injury to delicate cardiac structures while providing ...
  • IROS 2014 – Interleaved Continuum-Rigid Manipulation A new manipulation approach, referred to as interleaved continuum-rigid manipulation, which combines inherently safe, flexible actuated segments with more precise embedded rigid-link joints is described. The redundantly actuated manipulator possesses the safety characteristics inherent in flexible segment devices while gaining some of the performance gains possible with rigid-link joint systems. A demonstration prototype was developed, the purpose of which was to explore the ...
  • Advanced Robotics 2014 – A Combined Modal-Joint Space Control of Continuum Manipulators Abstract – Continuum manipulators such as robotic tele-operated cardiac catheters continue to gain popularity for use in minimally invasive surgical procedures due to their inherent safety characteristics. However, their flexible nature makes them prone to both steady state positioning errors and undesirable vibrations. We propose a combined control  system incorporating both a tracking position controller to reduce steady state ...
  • 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 ...
  • ICRA 2013 – Interleaved Continuum-Rigid Manipulation: An Augmented Approach For Robotic Minimally-Invasive Flexible Catheter-based Procedures In recent years, minimally-invasive surgical systems based on flexible robotic manipulators have met with success. One major advantage of the flexible manipulator approach is its superior safety characteristics as compared to rigid manipulators. However, their soft compliant structure, in combination with internal friction, results in poor position and force regulation and has limited their use to simpler surgical procedures. In this paper, ...
  • 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 ...
  • ICRA 2012 – An evaluation of closed-loop control options for continuum manipulators Abstract: Continuum manipulators are gaining widespread acceptance in commercial robotics, particularly in the medical field, where their compliance allows a large benefit for patient safety. However, this compliance also makes precise position control of these manipulators quite difficult. This paper presents two closed-loop control implementations applied to a small scale continuum manipulator. These implementations are both based on manipulator tip position ...
  • ICRA 2011 – Towards Closed-loop Control of a Continuum Robotic Manipulator for Medical Applications Abstract—Robotic catheters are gaining widespread use in the medical community for cardiac, neurological and other surgical interventions. However, many of the catheters used in these procedures exhibit non-linear behavior, and thus present many difficulties in implementing effective open-loop control. Systems such as this have been shown to benefit from closed-loop control, however very little investigation has been done into 3D closed loop ...
  • IROS 2011 – A Modeling Approach for Continuum Robotic Manipulators: Effects of Nonlinear Internal Device Friction Abstract – In recent years, flexible robotic catheter systems have been developed for minimally invasive cardiac surgery. These systems commonly include a passive flexible catheter, which is biocompatible, and an active servo system which provides the actuation for the flexible catheter. To relate control actuation motion of the servo system to catheter motion, models of ...
  • 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. ...