Robotics 2022 SURE and SROP Research Projects

Robotics Project #1: Robot Garden Project: Perception
Faculty Mentor: Dmitry Berenson, dmitryb@umich.edu
Prerequisites: A computer vision course (e.g. EECS 442) and significant programming experience (e.g. EECS 281)
Project Details: We have built a rooftop garden bed on the roof of the Wilson center and we are working on using a robot to help take care of the garden. Doing so requires algorithms that can detect weeds, identify diseases, and allow the robot to navigate to and around its environment. The student will work with the robot to gather data and implement the latest perception algorithms for one or more of the above tasks.
Research Mode: In-person

Robotics Project #2: Robot Garden Project: Visual Servoing
Faculty Mentor: Dmitry Berenson, dmitryb@umich.edu
Prerequisites: Significant programming experience (e.g. EECS 281). EECS 367 or EECS 467 is a plus but not required.
Project Details: We have built a rooftop garden bed on the roof of the Wilson center and we are working on using a robot to help take care of the garden. Part of the process of maintaining the garden requires the robot to reach for and pull out weeds. We will do this through visual-servoing control, where the movement of the robot’s arm is based on reducing error between its gripper and some target in the image captured by its camera. The student will implement and test algorithms for visual servoing, including methods that identify robust features in the image.
Research Mode: In-person

ROB Project #3: Designing and manufacturing a robot that variably couples hand motion across the body
Faculty Mentor: Chandramouli Krishnan, mouli@umich.edu
Prerequisites: Strong mechanical design and manufacturing background
Project Description: Stroke is one of the leading causes of disability in the US. A common side-effect of stroke is weakness on one side of the body, called hemiparesis. Hemiparesis can cause survivors to use only their stronger limbs to accomplish activities of daily living (e.g., brushing one’s teeth, using silverware, etc.), which prevents their weaker limbs from recovering. However, a robot that couples the motion of the stronger limb with the weaker limb could make it more difficult for the person to use only their stronger limb, thus encouraging them to use their weaker limb more. The objective of this project is to design a wearable robot that couples the motion of the user’s hands to encourage more symmetrical motion in stroke survivors. Such a device would allow us to evaluate how coupling motion across a patient’s body would encourage them to use their weaker limb. This project requires a driven, self-guided student with a strong mechanical design and manufacturing background who can build a robot that functions smoothly and will withstand repeated interaction with participants. Furthermore, this project requires a student who is comfortable with integrating sensors, such as rotary encoders and load cells, into their design so that the device can measure contributions from the participant.
Research Mode: Hybrid with a large portion in-lab

ROB Project #4: Biomechanical Modeling, and Experimental Evaluation of Lower Limb Exoskeletons
Faculty Mentor: Robert Gregg, rdgregg@umich.edu
Project Description: This project has two main parts. The first part of this project involves biomechanical modelling in OpenSim (a popular open-source program) and Matlab on the effect of powered lower-limb orthoses on muscle activity, joint loads and metabolic cost. Various exoskeleton assistance strategies can be explored for different activities of daily living. The second part involves performing human subject experiments using our two prototype exoskeletons. This will primarily involve the use of a 3D motion capture system (Vicon) and electromyography system. Motion capture will require learning the high level operations of the data capture and pre-processing software (Nexus) and customizing of standard biomechanical models to suit the experimental objective. Post processing of the data will be performed in Matlab.
Research Mode: In-lab 

Robotics Project #5: Let’s Build Some Robots        
Faculty Mentor: Necmiye Ozay, necmiye@umich.edu
Prerequisites: Strong programming skills, mechanical design, 3D printing
Project Details: Open dynamic robot initiative aims to build low cost dynamic robots mostly from 3D printed and off-the-shelf components [1,2]. The goal of this SURE project is to replicate one or two of the robots proposed as part of this initiative. You will work with a group of 3-4 students and we will provide all the required hardware and components. We have most of the electrical and mechanical systems of the robot ready but it still requires assembling all the pieces and testing it. Once the robots are built, we will work on programming and controlling them to do fun stuff. 

See:

[1] https://open-dynamic-robot-initiative.github.io/

[2] https://github.com/open-dynamic-robot-initiative/open_robot_actuator_hardware

Research Mode: In lab or hybrid