Our society is ageing, resulting in fewer caregivers available to provide care for an increasing number of geriatric and physically disabled clients. Because of the ageing population and corresponding growth in care needs, HIT is developing Care Robot ROSE. ROSE will be able to 1) support care workers, reducing workload and shifting their daily work towards more client centered care, and 2) improve client autonomy by making clients less dependent on care workers, due to various physical tasks being able to be delegated to ROSE (e.g. getting a class of water).
HIT is developing a custom gripper, suited for the care environment. Normally, robotic grippers are industrial, hard, strong and unyielding. The care environment needs a different touch. To this end, HIT has designed a gripper that better fits the needs and requirements of a care robot. This gripper however needs continued development to suit the increasing set of tasks robot ROSE is able to execute. Some factors to take into account for example are grip strength, compliance, versatility, cosmesis, sterilisability, and repeatability. The care environment needs a soft touch.
This project involves the continued development of the robot ROSE gripper to suit the unstructured care environment. Factors that are of relevance to this development are:
- Compliance and the ability to obtain a shape-grip with various (household) objects;
- Design for both autonomous robot functioning and tele-operation;
- Pinchforce regulation (to not break or crush objects);
- Cleanliness and sterilizability;
- Design, manufacturing, assembly and scalability.
The outputs of this project are various. You will expand upon the work already performed at HIT by both professional developers as well as interns, with the goals to:
- Design, improve and prototype a robotic gripper that suits a variety of robot tasks and objects for manipulation;
- Ensure care environment compatibility (e.g. repeatability, object relevance, sterilizability, robustness);
- Make it a gripper that is as elegant and visually attractive as possible, whilst still ensuring form and function;
Throughout developments on the robot gripper, HIT performs in-house as well as on-site acceptance tests. Your work will be similarly tested in unstructured real-life scenarios with a focus to ensure robustness of operation and safety!
- Excited about new technologies, eager to work on state-of-the-art technologies;
- Independent, enthusiastic, critical and research-driven;
- Sense of responsibility, duty fulfillment;
- Eager to work in an international environment, team-player, and able to collaborate with multiple organizations and companies;
- Determined to dedicate time to the project, able to set priorities;
- Skilled in documentation and presentation of (intermediate) achieved results;
- Good experience with 3D design and CAD software, preferably SolidWorks
- Experience with 3D printers is a plus.
- Understanding of math and programming (C++, Python);
- Familiarity with the Robot Operating System (ROS) is a plus.
What do we offer?
- International environment;
- Hands-on experience with robotics in the face of real-life challenges;
- State-of-the-art hardware (e.g. haptic simulator, care robot, etc.)
- Bi-weekly progress meetings;
- A daily supervisor to provide guidance if needed.