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Robotic Cars

More people means more travel. Will our roads cope and are we doomed to a future of increased road rage. Let’s talk about transport and how robots might help.  

Ethics 101 – Part 1

We may often use the term ethics but what does it mean? What is an ethical problem and what is not? Is ethics independent of culture? Here’s a very quick introduction to the principles of ethics.  

Introduction to Robots and the Future

We will discuss some important non-technical aspects of robotics. What are the problems facing our society that robots might help to address? There are lots of tasks that robots could do, but should they? What are the ethical considerations around robots? Why are people scared of robots?  

Forward Dynamics

So far we have worked out the torques on a robot’s joints based on joint position, velocity and acceleration. For simulation we want the opposite, to know its motion given the torques applied to the joints. This is called the forward dynamics problem.  

Velocity Coupling

We describe the velocity coupling terms of the robot as a matrix which represents how the torque on one joint depends on the velocity of other joints.  

Rigid-Body Dynamics

We can factorise the joint torque expression into an elegant matrix equation with terms that describe the effects of inertia, Coriolis and centripetal and gravity effects.  

Forces Acting On Robot Links

In a serial-link manipulator arm each joint has to support all the links between itself and the end of the robot. We introduce the recursive Newton-Euler algorithm which allows us to compute the joint torques given the robot joint positions, velocities and accelerations and the link inertial parameters.  

Joint Control with Disturbances

We start by considering the effect of gravity acting on a robot arm, and how the torque exerted will disturb the position of the robot controller leading to a steady state error. Then we discuss a number of strategies to reduce this error.  

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