Robotics and Mechatronics (RaM) deals with application of modern systems and control methods to practical situations. Focus is on robotics, as a specific class of mechatronic systems. The research is embedded in the TechMed and MIRA institutes. The research of the group is application oriented. Main goal is to investigate the applicability of modern systems, imaging and control methods to practical situations in the area of robotics.
The structure of the research activities can be pictured as a matrix structure with robotics application areas as columns and the core enabling technologies as rows. Projects are positioned at the intersection of rows and columns.
One unique and characterizing feature of our research philosophy is the use of the port-based approach in modeling and analysis of systems, i.e. bond graphs, port-Hamiltonian descriptions, process-orientation using CSP process algebra.
Intensive collaboration with Mechatronic Valley Twente and national industries like Philips, TNO, ESA, OCE, Thales, CHeSS exist. The research group has a leading role in the LEO initiative. The LEO centre of service robotics is at this stage a cluster of regional enterprises and groups working in robotics and will have a physical space to display what robotics is and what robotics can be used for in our society. The ambition is to become a reference point for robotics in the Netherlands.
Results of research by our PhD and MSc students also find its way into our software tools for mechatronic design.Via our spin-off company Controllab Products, these results become globally available after some time.
Robot application areas we investigate are: inspection robotics (UAVs, UGVs, UUVs); medical robotics (assistance to surgeons, diagnostics); service robotics (street cleaning, service to people).
The science and engineering topics we work on are: modeling and simulation of physical systems; intelligent control; robotic actuators; computer vision and medical imaging; embedded control systems.
In our labs we have quite a variety of robotic setups: basic 1 or 2 motor systems, precise motion control platforms, a production cell-like block circulator, several types of flying and wheeled mobile robots, humanoid walking robots, and setups for robotized needle insertion. We have facilities like a laser cutter and seven 3D-printers that can print various materials, which makes rapid prototyping of designed setups possible.