Welcome to CSL-EP Wiki
Here, you will find information about research in our lab, tutorials, software, and other useful material created by our members.
CSL members can learn how things work in the lab, find general information about equipment and materials, build their own pages, cooperate, download files, and write tutorials about the things they know.
Control Systems Lab (CSL-EP)
This Wiki concerns the activities of the research team of here.. The Control Systems Laboratory (CSL) belongs to the Mechanical Engineering School (ME) of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), at the Zografou campus. The CSLab is a part of the Department of Mechanical Design and Control Systems (MD&CS) of ME. For the Control Systems Lab general website click
The research team of here.has recognized experience in Mechanisms, Robotics and Automation Systems. The Lab was established in 1981 and over the years its central theme has been expanded to cover advanced automation technologies, encapsulating the long prior expertise of its staff in leading academic and industrial institutions of the European Union and the U.S. It is an internationally recognized centre for research and development in robotic technologies, with worldwide international contacts in industry, government and the EU. The efforts of its staff have led to numerous cooperative activities and projects with Greek, EU, Canadian and US partners. A quick guide to our lab can be found
Department of Mechanical Design and Control Systems (MD&CS)
The CSL is a part of the Department of Mechanical Design and Control Systems (MD&CS) of the Mechanical Engineering School (ME) at the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA). The Research areas of the department include: Systematics of mechanical design, Machine elements, Hydraulics and pneumatics, Mechanisms, Dynamics of linear and non-linear systems, Machine dynamics and applications, Rotor dynamics and balancing, elastic foundations of machines, Statics and dynamics of mechanical structures, Fatigue, Computational methods in structural analysis, finite and boundary elements, Metal light structures, Control systems theory and applications, Applied control, Robotics, Mechatronics, Aerospace dynamics and subsystems, Conveyors and elevators, Vehicle dynamics, Mechanics of tyres, Technology of vehicles and their subsystems, Vehicle design, Processing of dynamic signals, Industrial measurements.
School of Mechanical Engineering (ME)
The School of Mechanical Engineering of the National Technical University of Athens excels both in Greece and internationally, thanks to its advanced level of studies and to its internationally acclaimed research. Mechanical engineering covers a broad range of areas such as energy, the environment, transportation, machine design and the automatic control of technological systems. The activities of today's Mechanical Engineers require capabilities in research and development, design, testing and the manufacturing of products and systems, production organization and management. The department ensures that young engineers will be able to contribute to the rapidly advancing technological development and distinguish themselves both in Greece and abroad.
National Technical University of Athens (NTUA)
The National Technical University (NTUA) is the oldest and most prestigious educational institution of Greece in the field of technology, and has contributed unceasingly to the country's scientific, technical and economic development since its foundation in 1836. It is closely linked with Greece's struggle for independence, democracy and social progress. In Greek, NTUA is called the "Ethnicon Metsovion Polytechnion" which stands for National Metsovion Polytechnic. It was named "Metsovion" to honor the donors and benefactors Nikolaos Stournaris, Eleni Tositsa, Michail Tositsas and Georgios Averof, all from Metsovo, a small town in the region of Epirus, who made substantial donations in the last half of the 19th century.
The CSL-EP group has a successfully demonstrated track record in both academic and industrial research and development, in a number of areas of automation technologies. Current projects and research interests can be found at: http://csl-ep.mech.ntua.gr. Along with its experienced academic staff, the lab has a large number of research associates at all levels (undergraduate, graduate, PhD candidates, Post-docs, technical personnel), who constitute a great team, producing innovative ideas, concepts and designs. The team follows cost-effective techniques and takes advantage of the ingenuity of its members to fulfill academic grants or industrial contracts on-time and with high standards. Design and construction is done on site, therefore there is full control of the entire development. The group has participated successfully in many European and international advanced projects, while hundreds of publications have resulted at refereed international conferences and peer-reviewed high-caliber. Below, one can find information for the research teams of the lab, and the CSL-EP members can use the wiki pages to cooperate by uploading useful information for their team's research.
The development of legged robots with capabilities close to those of animals opens new and valuable possibilities, such as reaching distant points through rough or slopped terrains, detecting survivors in earthquake ruins or workers in mine tunnels, helping in fire-fighting or de-mining tasks, or even exploring planets. The team's research aims at advancing the state of the art in legged locomotion and more specifically in efficient and agile quadruped locomotion through the development of novel designs and control methods. More specifically, our goals focus on achieving efficiency, high-speed, robustness and versatility in quadruped robots.
On Orbit Servicing (OOS) is a relatively new concept that aims at two important goals: (a) at an investment risk reduction through the reuse and maintenance of serviced orbital systems (e.g. damaged or run-out of fuel satellites) and (b) at an astronaut personal risk reduction, by partially relieving them from highly risky Extra Vehicular Activities. The study and analysis of various systems towards the realization of Space Robotics and Robotic OOS is a major area of interest of our laboratory. Besides the theoretical research conducted in modeling, dynamics and control of free-flying and free-floating robots with manipulators, a planar space emulator has been developed, based on the motion of robotic systems on a horizontal plane, achieved by the use of air bearings. This 2D practically frictionless motion is as close as possible to the actual space motion without external disturbances, counteracting the gravity effect and making it the most realistic emulation in 2D.
The scientific research focuses on biomimetic underwater robotic vehicles. The thrust of these underwater vehicles is caused due to oscillating fins (in contrast with today underwater vehicles which are propeller-based). Robotic fish are proved to be more efficient and easier to be controlled in low velocities. In our lab a prototype biomimetic robotic fish has been designed and coded. The fish moves with the help of a small maxon dc motor. A close-loop position control is implemented with the help of a microcontroller. It carries a small camera and has the ability to transmit video-streaming. The range of the angle and the oscillation frequency of the tail fin, as well as the direction of the fish can be controlled with the help of a GUI (graphical interface) and a transceiver.
Simulators employing haptic devices are being used for the training in various medical operations. A novel five degrees of freedom (dof) haptic device is designed and developed as part of a medical training simulator. It consists of a 2-dof, 5-bar linkage and a 3-dof spherical joint. All dof are active, and the transmission system is implemented using tendon drives with capstans. A great effort was placed in developing an optimum haptic mechanism, i.e. one with the best mechanical design under given kinematical, operational and constructional constraints. The device is suitable for the accurate application of small forces and moments, and is part of a medical training simulator for urological minimal invasive operations. The haptic mechanism is responsible for the haptic information exchange between the user and the virtual environment. The simulator includes also a virtual reality tissue model that presents graphically the virtual human tissue and its deformation and calculates according to a fast and simple mathematical model the forces and torques applied to the user. The third part of the simulator is the control system, which controls and coordinates the other two.
A novel micro-robotic platform is designed and developed. The micro-robot motion is induced by centrifugal forces generated by two DC vibration motors, installed inside the platform body. When the micro-motors are driven in a controlled manner, then the resulting vibrations cause the platform to perform controlled x, y, θ planar motion with micrometer resolution and speeds greater than 1 mm/s. This is a novel motion principle, and radically different form all previous techniques used for micromotion. The great advantage of this type of actuation is the low power consumption, the simple driving electronics and the low cost and readily available mechanical parts used for the construction.
Multifunctional composite structures with piezoelectric sensors and actuators combine the excellent mechanical properties of composite structures with the additional capabilities to sense deformation and stress states and adapt their response accordingly. They have regained increased research attention in the last decade, since they can be combined with embedded microcontroller systems, whereas the use of composites has greatly expanded, mainly in the aerospace industry. In this context, the group is involved in modeling and experimental verification of the dynamic response of systems including composite materials and piezoelectric transducers. Our main current activities focus on: impact response of sandwich composite structures with piezoelectric sensors, vibration energy harvesting by connecting piezoelectric sensors to external circuitry, active control of free-vibration response of composite structures by means of piezoelectric actuators, and autonomous sensor wireless data transfer.
Technological advances in the last decade not only made the construction of small scale UAVs feasible but also opened the path to a plethora of applications. Currently the development of UAVs able to independently alter their position and attitude (independent axis control) is attracting significant attention since such capabilities can extend the use of UAVs as versatile field robots capable for any inspection/surveillance task, for traversing cluttered space, and for assembly or interaction tasks. Our work aims at the development of a versatile small scale UAV field robot, with independent axes control, while simultaneously advancing the state of the art in small scale UAVs through the research of theoretical and practical knowledge. More specifically, through the development of innovative designs and control strategies our goals focus on achieving robustness, agility and precision in the field of small scale UAVs with independent axis control.
The major goal of the research is to develop, test and design new control laws for electrohydraulic servos. The control schemes are based on accurate dynamic and hydraulic modelling all of the system elements, emphasizing new methodologies of servovalve modelling. Parameter identification algorithms are developed in order to find system parameters. These servosystems function under real – time OS (QNX/ Linux). Optimization methods with power, weight and total cost criteria of such servosystems are developed.
Soft Robotics - Visit Team's Wiki
This scientific research focuses on the design, modelling and control of multi-segment continuum soft robotic manipulators where the entire structure of the robotic arm is soft. These comprise serially connected tubular-shape deformable structures built with soft materials which have intrinsic compliant characteristics. The distributed compliance of continuum soft manipulators (i.e. the entire structure of the robotic arm is soft) in combination with the soft material (silicon, rubber, etc.) generates little resistance to compressive forces and produces small impacts during contact with humans, which makes them ideal for applications where physical human-robot interaction is very intense, such as personal service robots or surgical robotics (flexible endoscopes, etc.). A great challenge in modelling and control of these systems is that due to their deformable structure, the kinematics and dynamics are coupled and typical approaches for modelling equations of motion for control purposes cannot be applied directly. Our contribution is the research and development of dynamic models which enable accurate real-time control of the soft manipulator’s motion and physical interaction. To this end, we investigate modeling assumptions which simplify the complicated equations of motion, derived by the theory of elasticity, they capture the important mechanics of soft manipulators, and can be inverted so that they can be used for the control of the soft arm. Another interesting research topic, which we research, is the design of the actuation system for soft robotic manipulators. To this end, we are investigating modelling and control of the synergy of tendon and pneumatic actuators through antagonistic interaction.