Workshop on Advanced Robotics for Intelligent Manufacturing in conjunction with Launch of SIMTech-NUS Joint Labs

Date: 23 Jul 2013 - 23 Jul 2013

Venue: Engineering Auditorium, Block EA, Faculty of Engineering, National University of Singapore

This event is to commemorate the launch of two joint labs, namely the Industrial Robotics Lab and Precision Motion Systems Lab, between SIMTech and the National University of Singapore (NUS). This event will serve to broadcast the launch of these two joint labs to interested parties within both the industrial and research community. In conjuncture with the signing ceremony, a seminar on mechatronics will be held. Two distinguished speakers from overseas universities have been invited to present their research work in the field of mechatronics to generate awareness on current research trends. Speakers from NUS and SIMTech will also present their research work in this seminar in order to promote research conducted by SIMTech staff and collaborators. 

Through this event, we seek to raise the awareness and interests of students towards research for manufacturing, in particular industrial robotics and precision motion research. This event will also help to broadcast the research work that has been conducted within SIMTech to the industry, link up interested industrial players to our researchers. 

This event will be held on 23 July 2013, 9am at Engineering Auditorium, Block EA, Faculty of Engineering, National University of Singapore. Please click here for the location map.

Force Controlled Robotic Assembly without a Force Sensor – Prof Rolf Johansson

The traditional way of controlling an industrial robot is to program it to follow desired trajectories. This approach is sufficient as long as the accuracy of the robot and the calibration of the work cell is good enough. In robotic assembly these conditions are usually not fulfilled, because of uncertainties, e.g., variability in involved parts and objects not gripped accurately. Using force control is one way to handle these difficulties. This paper presents a method of doing force control without a force sensor. The method is based on detuning of the low-level joint control loops, and the force is estimated from the control error. It is experimentally verified in a small part assembly task with a kinematically redundant robotic manipulator.

Cognitive Robotics and Electric Cars – A brief Overview of Research Activities at TUM and fortiss – Prof Alois Knoll  

At first sight, the development of robotics and recent development in cars may not have much in common. However, there are many surprising parallels and, interestingly, long-standing challenges in robotics have attracted the attention of car manufacturers. In the first part of the talk, I will give a brief overview of the institutions TUM and fortiss, and I will provide some key figures. I will also briefly talk about the work which is currently being done at TUM-CREATE.  

In the second part, recent research will be presented that we have performed in cognitive robotics. I will summarise the work of several projects that focused on joint action between humans and robots: JAST, Joint Action Science and Technology, JAHIR, Joint Action for Humans and Industrial Robots, and JAMES, Joint Action for Multimodal Embodied Social Systems. Robot's software architecture, robust multimodal input recognition and processing, mechanisms which guarantee the human's safety, and generation of multimodal output to the human will be touched on. I will also mention a few aspects of “soft embodied robotics”.

I will then outline some aspects of the architecture of electric vehicles and point to the consequences that the exchange of drive type and energy storage will have. The project "Robust and Reliant Automotive Computing Environment for Future eCars (RACE)", which creates innovative information and communication architecture in a way that combines all the functions on a few central computers within a single bus system, will be described, along with an experimental car we have developed at fortiss to evaluate potential future software architectures for cars.

Compliant Motion Control of Robotic Mobile Manipulators – Associate Professor Marcelo H. Ang Jr
Achieving compliant motion capabilities in robotic mobile manipulators opens up much more applications and paves the way for robots operating in human environments. Compliant motion involves the control of both force and motion, thereby allowing the robot to comply with unknown and unstructured environments. Mobile manipulation involves compliant motion while the base of the robot is moving. This talk presents one of the most advanced control algorithms for compliant motion control, i.e., operational space control, and our recent enhancements to improve its performance. The talk concludes with a discussion on practical issues and remaining challenges.

Flexure-based Parallel-Kinematics Stages for Ultra-precision Positioning – Dr Yang Guilin
A Flexure-based Parallel-Kinematics Stage (FPKS) is a closed-loop compliant mechanism in which the moving platform is connected to the base through a number of flexure legs. Benefiting from the advantages of both flexures and parallel kinematics, an FPKS bears the most essential features of a ultra-precision positioner, such as frictionless, absence of mechanical play and backlash, and insensitive to thermal variations and mechanical disturbances. The FPKSs, especially those have millimetre motion travel and nano-meter resolution, can be applied for various nano-positioning, nano-alignment, and nano-metrology applications. However, it has been a challenging issue to design a multi-DOF PFKS with a large workspace and nanometre resolutions. In this talk, three FPKS design methods, i.e., the kinematics-based design method, the topology optimization method, and the integrated design method, will be discussed. It is concluded that the newly proposed integrated design method is a promising design approach for multi-DOF PFKSs.

About the Speakers
Prof Rolf Johansson, Professor, Department of Automatic Control, Lund University
Rolf Johansson received the Master-of-Science degree in Technical Physics in 1977, the Bachelor-of-Medicine degree in 1980, the doctorate in control theory 1983, was appointed Docent in 1985, and received the Doctor-of-Medicine degree (M.D.) in 1986, all from Lund University, Lund, Scandinavia. He is IEEE Fellow; Fellow of the Swedish Society of Medicine; and Fellow of the Royal Physiographic Society, Section of Medicine. Since 1986 he has been with the Dept. Automatic Control, Lund University, where he is currently Professor of control science. In his scientific work, he has been involved in research in adaptive system theory, mathematical modeling, system identification, robotics and signal processing. Since 1987, he has also participated in research and as a graduate advisor at the Faculty of Medicine, Lund University Hospital.  He has had the following visiting appointments: Researcher, 1985,  Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Grenoble, France;  Visiting scientist CalTech, CA, June 1997, June 2001; Rice Univ., Houston, TX, May 1998, May 2001; Supélec, Paris, France, June 1998; Univ. Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL; UC Santa Barbara, CA,  Aug. 1999; Univ. Napoli Fed II, Italy, July 2000; Guest Professor, NTNU, Trondheim, NO, Aug. 2001, Aug. 2012; Guest Professor at CIDAC, Univ. Newcastle, Australia, July 2003. Tsinghua Univ., Beijing, China, Nov. 2003, Aug. 2004, Sep-Dec 2012; Hon.Visiting Professor, North China Univ. Science and Technology (NCUST), Taiyuan, Shanxi, China, 2003; Hon. Visiting Professor, Wuhan Univ. Science and Technology (WUST), Wuhan, Hubei, China, 2004; Russell S. Springer Visiting Professor 2004, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA; Universidad de Valladolid, Valladolid,  Spain, June 2004; Universidad de Jaén, Jaén, Spain, July 2005; SIMTech Fellow, SIMTech, A*STAR, Singapore, Mar 2010; Oct-Nov 2010; Oct-Nov 2011; Tsinghua Univ., Beijing, China, Sep-Dec 2012.

Alois C. Knoll
received the diploma (M.Sc.) degree in Electrical/Communications Engineering from the University of Stuttgart, Germany, in 1985 and his Ph.D. (summa cum laude) in computer science from the Technical University of Berlin, Germany, in 1988. He served on the faculty of the computer science department of TU Berlin until 1993, when he qualified for teaching computer science at a university (habilitation). He then joined the Technical Faculty of the University of Bielefeld, where he was a full professor and the director of the research group Technical Informatics until 2001. Between May 2001 and April 2004 he was a member of the board of directors of the Fraunhofer-Institute for Autonomous Intelligent Systems. At AIS he was head of the research group "Robotics Construction Kits", dedicated to research and development in the area of educational robotics. Since autumn 2001 he has been a professor of Computer Science at the Computer Science Department of the Technische Universität München. He is also on the board of directors of the Central Institute of Medical Technology at TUM (IMETUM-Garching); between April 2004 and March 2006 he was Executive Director of the Institute of Computer Science at TUM. His research interests include cognitive, medical and sensor-based robotics, multi-agent systems, data fusion, adaptive systems and multimedia information retrieval. In these fields he has published over 200 technical papers and guest-edited international journals. He has participated (and has coordinated) several large scale national collaborative research projects (funded by the EU, the DFG, the DAAD, the state of North-Rhine-Westphalia). He initiated and was the program chairman of the First IEEE/RAS Conference on Humanoid Robots (IEEE-RAS/RSJ Humanoids2000), he was general chair of IEEE Humanoids2003 and general chair of Robotik 2004, the largest German conference on robotics, and he served on several other organising committees. Prof. Knoll is a member of the German Society for Computer Science (Gesellschaft für Informatik (GI)) and the IEEE. Prof Marcelo Ang, Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Ag Director, Advanced Robotics Centre, National University of Singapore.

Marcelo H. Ang, Jr. received the B.Sc. degrees (Cum Laude) in Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Management Engineering from the De La Salle University, Manila, Philippines, in 1981; the M.Sc. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii, in 1985; and the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, in 1986 and 1988, respectively. His work experience includes heading the Technical Training Division of Intel's Assembly and Test Facility in the Philippines, research positions at the East West Center in Hawaii and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a faculty position as an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Rochester, New York. In 1989, Dr. Ang joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the National University of Singapore, where he is currently an Associate Professor, with a Joint Appointment at the Division of Engineering and Technology Management. He also is the Acting Director of the Advanced Robotics Center, and Deputy Director of the Center for Intelligent Products and Manufacturing Systems. His research interests span the areas of robotics, mechatronics, and applications of intelligent systems methodologies. He teaches both at the graduate and undergraduate levels in the following areas: robotics; creativity and innovation, applied electronics and instrumentation; advanced computing; product design and realization. He is also active in consulting work in these areas. In addition to academic and research activities, he is actively involved in the Singapore Robotic Games as its founding chairman.


8.30am      Registration

9.00am      Opening Speech by Dr Lim Ser Yong, SIMTech Executive Director

9.10am      Speech by Guest-of-Honour, Mr Surest Sachi, Deputy Managing Director, Corporate and
                 Legal, General Counsel, A*STAR

9.20am      Speech by Prof. Barry Halliweill, Deputy President (Research & Technology), NUS

9.30am      Signing Ceremony

9.40am      Introduction to SIMTech-NUS Joint Labs, Dr Zhang Ying, Director of Research Liaison
                 Office, SIMTech

9.50am      Force Controlled Robotic Assemby without a Force Sensor by Professor Rolf  Johansson,
                 Lund University

10.30am     Tea break

10.50am     Cognitive Robotics and Electric Cars by Professor Alois Knoll, Technische Universitat

11.30am     Autonomous Vehicles for Mobility on Demand Systems by Prof. Marcelo Ang, SIMTech-
                 NUS Joint Lab on Advanced Robotics

12.00pm     Flexure-based Parallel-kinematics Stages for Ultra-precision Positioning by Dr Yang
                 Guilin, SIMTech-NUS jOIN lab on Precision Motion Systems

12.30pm     Lunch & Networking

Who Should Attend
Senior Management, Directors, Managers, Engineers, Academic staff memebrs, 

Registration for this workshop is free of charge. Seats are available on first-come, first-served basis.

Contact Us:
For more details, please contact Dr Tao Pey Yuen, Tel: 6793 8364, Email:

For RSVP and general enquiries: Alice Koh, Tel: 6793 8249, Email: