International Universities To Lead Robotics Development

by CXOtoday News Desk    Dec 13, 2016


A recent international collaboration of the University of Auckland and the University of Stuttgart on the interaction between soft materials and rigid robots is likely to benefit digital engineering and the human-machine interface.

The future of safety and medical ergonomics for the meat, agricultural and automotive sectors will see implications from the new research-training group between New Zealand and Germany.

The aim is to educate a new generation of digital engineering doctoral students at the University of Auckland and the University of Stuttgart in areas including simulation technology, computer modelling, sensor technology, and robotics and control engineering.

The collaboration is led by Professor Oliver Röhrle and Professor Alexander Verl from the University of Stuttgart and Professor Peter Xu (Faculty of Engineering) and Associate Professor Leo Cheng (Auckland Bioengineering Institute) from the University of Auckland.

The interaction of rigid robots with easy-to-deform materials is challenging even independent of its applications in functions such as the field of developing and designing exoskeletons, fully automatic apple pickers, or meat cutting devices.

“Soft materials or tissues are often subject to damage or injuries when handled by rigid robots and so far there have been few attempts to improve this situation,” says mechatronics expert, Professor Peter Xu, University of Auckland.

“To contribute to a long-term and significant impact that solves these problems, the new International Research Training Group (IRTG) established an interdisciplinary environment for enhancing basic research and training outstanding doctoral students,” he adds.

“This IRTG will greatly benefit from the synergies between both universities, in particular in the areas of simulation technology, cyber-physical engineering, robotics and biomedical technology,” says, Professor Peter Hunter, Director, Auckland Bioengineering Institute. ”It will significantly improve our understanding of the interaction between next-generation robotic devices and soft human tissues.”

These new applications will enhance the knowledge base for the design and the automation of industrial plants in general, and the knowledge and experiences will form a basis to enhance the exchange of information between the virtual and the physical world.