Amir Jafari


1 Steering Velocity Bounded Mobile Robots in Environments with Partially Known Obstacles

Authors: Reza Hossseynie, Amir Jafari


This paper presents a method for steering velocity bounded mobile robots in environments with partially known stationary obstacles. The exact location of obstacles is unknown and only a probability distribution associated with the location of the obstacles is known. Kinematic model of a 2-wheeled differential drive robot is used as the model of mobile robot. The presented control strategy uses the Artificial Potential Field (APF) method for devising a desired direction of movement for the robot at each instant of time while the Constrained Directions Control (CDC) uses the generated direction to produce the control signals required for steering the robot. The location of each obstacle is considered to be the mean value of the 2D probability distribution and similarly, the magnitude of the electric charge in the APF is set as the trace of covariance matrix of the location probability distribution. The method not only captures the challenges of planning the path (i.e. probabilistic nature of the location of unknown obstacles), but it also addresses the output saturation which is considered to be an important issue from the control perspective. Moreover, velocity of the robot can be controlled during the steering. For example, the velocity of robot can be reduced in close vicinity of obstacles and target to ensure safety. Finally, the control strategy is simulated for different scenarios to show how the method can be put into practice.

Keywords: Mobile Robots, obstacle avoidance, steering, Artificial potential field, constrained directions control

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2 Simulation of a Three-Link, Six-Muscle Musculoskeletal Arm Activated by Hill Muscle Model

Authors: Amir Jafari, Nafiseh Ebrahimi


The study of humanoid character is of great interest to researchers in the field of robotics and biomechanics. One might want to know the forces and torques required to move a limb from an initial position to the desired destination position. Inverse dynamics is a helpful method to compute the force and torques for an articulated body limb. It enables us to know the joint torques required to rotate a link between two positions. Our goal in this study was to control a human-like articulated manipulator for a specific task of path tracking. For this purpose, the human arm was modeled with a three-link planar manipulator activated by Hill muscle model. Applying a proportional controller, values of force and torques applied to the joints were calculated by inverse dynamics, and then joints and muscle forces trajectories were computed and presented. To be more accurate to say, the kinematics of the muscle-joint space was formulated by which we defined the relationship between the muscle lengths and the geometry of the links and joints. Secondary, the kinematic of the links was introduced to calculate the position of the end-effector in terms of geometry. Then, we considered the modeling of Hill muscle dynamics, and after calculation of joint torques, finally, we applied them to the dynamics of the three-link manipulator obtained from the inverse dynamics to calculate the joint states, find and control the location of manipulator’s end-effector. The results show that the human arm model was successfully controlled to take the designated path of an ellipse precisely.

Keywords: arm manipulator, hill muscle model, six-muscle model, three-link lodel

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1 Reduction in the Metabolic Cost of Human Walking Gaits Using Quasi-Passive Upper Body Exoskeleton

Authors: Amir Jafari, Nafiseh Ebrahimi, Gautham Muthukumaran


Human walking gait is considered to be the most efficient biped walking gait. There are various types of gait human follows during locomotion and arm swing is one of the most important factors which controls and differentiates human gaits. Earlier studies declared a 7% reduction in the metabolic cost due to the arm swing. In this research, we compared different types of arm swings in terms of metabolic cost reduction and then suggested, designed, fabricated and tested a quasi-passive upper body exoskeleton to study the metabolic cost reduction in the folded arm walking gate scenarios. Our experimental results validate a 10% reduction in the metabolic cost of walking aided by the application of the proposed exoskeleton.

Keywords: arm swing, MET (metabolic equivalent of a task), calorimeter, oxygen consumption, upper body quasi-passive exoskeleton

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