Robotic manipulation has advanced numerous application domains such as home, manufacturing, warehouses, surgery, and space. Yet it is still challenging to perform complex and delicate manipulation tasks interacting with a partially known environment. In this talk, I will present work in three aspects towards more intelligent manipulation: robot modeling, assisted telemanipulation and environment exploration.
Surgical soft continuum robots allow for deep access to the anatomy while providing inherent safety. However, there is no modeling and calibration framework for these robots in the literature. I will present such modeling framework as a prerequisite that enables autonomous features.
Interaction forces are important in manipulation tasks. Currently, in minimally invasive surgery, surgeons rely on only visual feed, losing the force interactions with the anatomy as they would have in open surgery. I will present a model-mediated telemanipulation framework that allows surgeons to interact with the anatomy through haptic virtual fixture laws. I will also present work on using interaction force as a source of information to explore environments and to update models of the anatomy for surgery.
In the last part, I will present my current work-in progress on a space robotics project aiming at ground-space teleoperated manipulation tasks using assistive free-flyers.
Long Wang is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Columbia University. He received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at Vanderbilt University in 2018. He received his B.S. and M.S. in mechanical engineering from Tsinghua University and Columbia University, in 2010 and 2012 respectively. Towards the goal of building intelligent robots that perform complex, delicate and robust manipulation tasks while interacting uncertain environments, his research interests lie in robot modeling, telemanipulation, force control, and robotic manipulation. His work was supported by National Science Foundation, and is now supported by an NASA research grant.