Over the past several decades, there has been a steady increase in the applications of teleoperation technology such as space exploration, underwater business, mining, nuclear and toxic material handling, surgery, and even the entertainment industry. Teleoperation technology allows us to deliver human-like manipulation skills to environments, inaccessible or dangerous to humans, by combining human intelligence and robot precision with repeatability and power.

At IRiS Lab, we are developing control methodologies and master devices to improve the teleoperation performance, thereby implementing these ideas to many different paradigms of telerobotic systems, including surgical robots, ocean plant robots, space robots, among many others.

*Image is a courtesy of DLR.

Our team is focused on developing lightweight, compliant actuators and implementation of novel actuation principles that can eliminate the use of rigid structures for human-assistive systems. For that, we have been working on the design and control of lightweight upper-limb exoskeletons.

One of the key features of our systems is the implementation of Twisted String Actuator (TSA). In our work, we have developed an improved model of linear and rotational Twisted String Actuators and implemented it in several practical robotic setups: Linear translation joint; Bidirectional rotational joint with variable stiffness, capable of human intention estimation without any use of force sensors; Lightweight Elbow and Shoulder Exoskeletons; Twisted String Actuator with linearized output and passively adjustable gear based on the Twisted String Actuator. We are keen on developing light, robust and powerful components that can be used for portable assistive technologies.

There have been many research activities in autonomous vehicle lately. In particular, DARPA Grand Challenge and Urban Challenge has made a huge progress in this area. Recently, Google has made strides in autonomous driving in urban environments with their autonomous vehicle. In addition to this, many other automobile companies have tried to commercialize an autonomous vehicle and have developed related technologies.

Starting with a research on vehicle teleoperation, IRiS Lab have been working on autonomous vehicle technology, including perception, planning and control. We are currently solving many challenging and practical issues related to navigating properly in real driving environments, especially unknown and dynamic environments. To conjure up a state-of-the-art technology, we are investigating not only full autonomy and direct teleoperation, but also shared teleoperation for optimized outcomes.