Elastica: A Compliant Mechanics Environment for Soft Robotic Control

Jeffrey Cuebas

Delicate robots can be used in several spheres, these types of as agriculture, medicine, and defense. Nonetheless, their sophisticated physics usually means that they are tough to management. Present simulation testbeds are insufficient for having the whole gain of elasticity.

A new paper on arXiv.org proposes Elastica, a simulation ecosystem personalized to delicate robotic context. It tries to fill the gap amongst conventional rigid body solvers, which are incapable to product sophisticated continuum mechanics, and superior-fidelity finite factors techniques, which are mathematically cumbersome. Elastica can be used to simulate assemblies of delicate, slender, and compliant rods and interface with major reinforcement learning deals. It is revealed how most reinforcement learning models can master to management a delicate arm and to finish successively complicated tasks, like 3D monitoring of a target, or maneuvering amongst structured and unstructured obstacles.

Delicate robots are notoriously tough to management. This is partly thanks to the shortage of models equipped to seize their sophisticated continuum mechanics, ensuing in a absence of management methodologies that just take whole gain of body compliance. At the moment obtainable simulation techniques are possibly too computational demanding or overly simplistic in their physical assumptions, leading to a paucity of obtainable simulation means for developing these types of management strategies. To deal with this, we introduce Elastica, a cost-free, open-source simulation ecosystem for delicate, slender rods that can bend, twist, shear and extend. We show how Elastica can be coupled with five condition-of-the-art reinforcement learning algorithms to productively management a delicate, compliant robotic arm and finish significantly complicated tasks.

Link: https://arxiv.org/abs/2009.08422