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ME Seminar | A bio-inspired approach to the advancement of artificial grasp and manipulation
Friday, April 4, 2014
2:00 p.m.
DeWALT Seminar Room, 2164 Glenn L. Martin Hall
For More Information:
Sarah Bergbreiter

Mechanical Engineering Seminar Series

A bio-inspired approach to the advancement of artificial grasp and manipulatio

Speaker: Veronica J. Santos, Ph.D.
Assisitant Professor of Mechanical & Aerospace
Engineering Graduate Faculty of Biomedical & Electrical Engineering
Arizona State University

Modern artificial hands are moving away from one degree-of-freedom pincers and towards anthropomorphic designs. However, biomimetic kinematics are insufficient for achieving dexterous manipulation on par with the “gold standard” of the human hand. I will present an overview of ongoing work to enhance anthropomorphic artificial hands: (1) characterization of in vivo grip responses, (2) development of tactile sensors and algorithms for learning through touch, and (3) development of a robot testbed for human-in-the-loop and semi-autonomous grasp and manipulation. We are investigating stimuli-induced grip responses in the human hand as inspiration for artificial grip reflexes. We are developing deformable, microfluidic, capacitance-based tactile skins. We are developing algorithms to map multimodal tactile sensor data to object features for machine learning applications, and to biological sensory signals for restoring the sense of touch to amputees. Finally, we are building a modular, tendon-driven, robot hand testbed for creating bio-inspired grasp and manipulation control strategies.

Veronica J. Santos is an Asst. Prof. of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and Graduate Faculty of Biomedical and Electrical Engineering at Arizona State University. Dr. Santos received her B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley (1999), was a Quality and R&D Engineer at Guidant Corporation, and received her M.S. and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering with a biometry minor from Cornell University (2007). While a postdoc at the University of Southern California, she helped to develop a biomimetic tactile sensor for prosthetic hands. Her research interests include hand biomechanics, tactile sensors, prosthetics, and robotics for grasp and manipulation. Dr. Santos was selected for an NSF CAREER Award (2010), two ASU Engineering Top 5% Teaching Awards (2012, 2013), and as an NAE Frontiers of Engineering Education Symposium participant (2010).

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