Robotics & Biomechatronics

Our research lies in the intersection of robotics and bionics. We are interested in equipping robots with dexterous manipulation capabilities and enabling humans to regain lost dexterity or augment their performance, modeling, designing and controlling new robotics and bionics hardware.

The New Dexterity is a research team affiliated with the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Auckland in New Zealand.

Team Members

PhD Students:
Neelam Barak
Ben Chang
Anany Dwivedi
Nathan Elangovan
Lucas Ferrari
Yongje Kwon
Naqash Rehmat
ME Students:
Alexandre Eichene
Sai Sasanka Jupalli
Shivang Pathak
Brahmaji Alla Rudhra
Pratik Sankh
Undergraduate Students:
Regan Cornelius
Geng Gao
Peter Gasparini
Zachary Fitzerald
Zak Flintoff
Bruno Johnston
Jared Lean
Nisal Manamperi
Andrew McLaren
Eythan Prendergast

We seek new students to expand our team. If you are interested in pursuing a Master of Engineering or a PhD degree in robotics or bionics, you are encouraged to contact us. Please check also the following promotional videos of the University of Auckland. The robot hand presented in the "never stop" commercial (right) is the New Dexterity - OpenBionics prosthetic hand.

NEWS

List of recent news & activities.


September, 2017 - The New Dexterity research group is a bronze sponsor and an exhibitor of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Intelligent Systems (IROS) 2017 (Vancouver, Canada).


September, 2017 - Minas will attend the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Intelligent Systems (IROS) 2017 (Vancouver, Canada) to give 4 talks on adaptive grasping mechanisms.


June, 2017 - 2/2 of our papers were accepted for publication in the proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Intelligent Systems (IROS) 2017 (Vancouver, Canada).


March, 2017 - The New Dexterity team participates with some new robot hand designs in the Maker's Space exhibition at the digiPlaySpace of the Toronto International Film Festival.


February 22, 2017 - Minas organized in collaboration with the University of Auckland General Library and Creative Commons NZ, a workshop with title "Creative Commons licenses and how to apply them".


January 16, 2017 - Minas joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Auckland as a Lecturer (Auckland, New Zealand).


December 17, 2017 - Minas participated at the workshop "Open Innovation and Industrial Property: Opportunities and Challenges" invited by the Hellenic Industrial Property Organisation (Greek Patent Office) and gave a talk focusing on the OpenBionics paradigm.


November, 2016 - Minas gave a talk at Virginia Tech invited by Prof. Tomo Furukawa (Blacksburg, USA).


April, 2016 - Minas gave some interviews regarding OpenBionics in several TV stations and magazines and was one of the speakers of the: 1) 2016 TEDx Thessaloniki (Thessaloniki, Greece), 2) 2016 Entrepreneurship and Career PANORAMA (Athens, Greece), 3) Robotics Track Panel of the 2016 IEEE Region 1 Student Conference (New Britain, USA), 4) "Human and Robot Hands, Human and Robot Touch: Sensorimotor Synergies to Bridge the Gap Between Neuroscience and Robotics" workshop of the 2016 Haptics Symposium (Philadelphia, USA).


December, 2015 - Minas gave an interview for the STEM JOBS Magazine regarding OpenBionics.


November, 2015
- Minas gave a talk at the Robotics Seminar at Cornell invited by Prof. Ross Knepper (Ithaca, USA).
- OpenBionics was the winner of the 2nd prize of the 2015 Hackaday Prize.
- Minas attended the Hackaday Superconference and gave a talk on open-source, affordable prostheses.


October, 2015 - The OpenBionics team posted a tutorial for the replication of our prosthetic hands.
September, 2015 - OpenBionics was the winner of the 2015 Robotdalen International Innovation Award.


January, 2015 - The OpenBionics team posted a tutorial for the replication of our robot hands.

RESEARCH

Information regarding our research projects.


More details can be found in Dr. Minas Liarokapis personal website: www.minasliarokapis.com

Robust Grasping

Dexterous Manipulation

Haptic Object Identification

Adaptive Hands

Assistive Devices

Brain Machine Interfaces

Robot Anthropomorphism

Human & Robot Dexterity

Research Projects

We have available positions for PhD / Master of Engineering students

1. Development of Adaptive Robotic and Prosthetic Hands

Description: This project focuses on the development of a new class of simple, adaptive robot hands for robust grasping and dexterous, in-hand manipulation. The designs demonstrate the adaptive behaviour of compliant, under-actuated grippers and their superior grasping capabilities under uncertainties. In this project, we also explore alternative uses of structural compliance for the development of grasping mechanisms. The devices are fabricated using hybrid manufacturing techniques.

This project is a collaboration with the OpenBionics Initiative and will result in the creation of a repository for the New Dexterity robot hand designs.


2. Robust Grasping and Dexterous, In-Hand Manipulation with Adaptive Hands

Description: This project focuses on the formulation of hybrid methodologies that combine analytical methods, constrained optimization schemes and machine learning techniques to facilitate the execution of robust grasping and dexterous, in-hand manipulation tasks with adaptive robot hands.

The project takes advantage of the robotic devices developed by the New Dexterity research group (outcomes of project #1).


3. Blind Robot Grasping and Haptic Object Identification with Adaptive Hands

Description: This project focuses on blind grasping and haptic object identification with adaptive hands. These goals are achieved by formulating hybrid schemes that leverage the benefits of simple, adaptive robot grippers (that can grasp successfully without prior knowledge of the hand or the object model), with simple sensors and advanced machine learning techniques.

The applications of this project are in the fields of industrial and warehouse automation, object quality and environment inspection. This project takes advantage of the robotic devices developed by the New Dexterity research group (outcomes of Project #1).


4. Development of Affordable, Adaptive, Personalized Exo-Suits and Wearable Robotic Devices.

Description: This project focuses on the development of affordable, light-weight, adaptive, personalized exo-suits and human augmentation devices (e.g., exoskeletons, bionic gloves, wearable interfaces etc.), that assist people in everyday life tasks, augmenting their capabilities. The particular devices may facilitate interaction not only with the physical world surrounding us, but also with various electronic devices and/or virtual environments.

This project is a collaboration with the OpenBionics initiative.


5. Development of Novel Brain Machine Interfaces for Human-Robot Interaction, Prosthetics and Rehabilitation Robotics

Description: This project focuses on the development of new Brain Machine Interfaces for the control of robotic and bionic devices. These interfaces take advantage of a combination of sensors and signals, employ state-of-the-art machine learning methodologies and shared control schemes and they provide robust, intuitive and minimal effort control to the user.

The brain machine interfaces will be used for the control of the robotic and bionic devices of the New Dexterity research group (outcomes of projects #1 and #4).


6. Assessment and Evaluation of the Anthropomorphism and Dexterity of Robotic and Bionic Devices

Description: Over the last decades, a lot of researchers have characterized their robots as dexterous and/or anthropomorphic without really assessing their level of dexterity and human-likeness and without comparing them with similar devices. This project focuses on the assessment and evaluation of the different aspects of anthropomorphism and dexterity of robotic and bionic devices (e.g., appearance, kinematics, compliance, force exertion capability etc.), extracting metrics for design optimization.

The design optimization part will focus on the prosthetic and bionic devices of the New Dexterity research group (outcomes of projects #1 and #4).

PUBLICATIONS

List of research papers.


Refereed Publications

[#30 | PDF | IROS #12] M. V. Liarokapis and A. M. Dollar, "Deriving Dexterous, In-Hand Manipulation Primitives for Adaptive Robot Hands," 2017 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Vancouver, Canada, 2017.

[#29 | PDF | IROS #11] M. V. Liarokapis and A. M. Dollar, "Learning the Post-Contact Reconfiguration of the Hand Object System for Adaptive Grasping Mechanisms," 2017 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Vancouver, Canada, 2017.

[#28 | PDF] M. V. Liarokapis, C. P. Bechlioulis, P. K. Artemiadis and K. J. Kyriakopoulos, "Deriving Humanlike Arm Hand System Poses", ASME Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics, vol. 9, no. 1, January 2017.

[#27 | PDF] M. V. Liarokapis and A. M. Dollar, "Post-Contact, In-Hand Object Motion Compensation with Adaptive Hands", IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering, 2016.

[#26 | PDF] Y. Huang, M. Bianchi, M. V. Liarokapis and Y. Sun, "Recent Datasets on Object Manipulation: A Survey", Big Data, vol. 4, no. 4, pp. 197-216, December 2016.

[#25 | PDF] V. Kostakis, K. Latoufis, M. V. Liarokapis and M. Bauwens, "The convergence of digital commons with local manufacturing from a degrowth perspective: Two illustrative cases", Journal of Cleaner Production, 2016.

[#24 | PDF | Citation File (.bib)] A. J. Spiers, M. V. Liarokapis, B. Calli and A. M. Dollar, "Single-Grasp Object Classification and Feature Extraction with Simple Robot Hands and Tactile Sensors," in IEEE Transactions on Haptics, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 207-220, April-June 1 2016.

[#23 | PDF | Citation File (.bib) | IROS #10] M. V. Liarokapis and A. M. Dollar, "Learning task-specific models for dexterous, in-hand manipulation with simple, adaptive robot hands," 2016 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Daejeon, South Korea, 2016, pp. 2534-2541.

[#22 | PDF | Citation File (.bib)] M. Liarokapis and A. M. Dollar, "Post-contact, in-hand object motion compensation for compliant and underactuated hands," 2016 25th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN), New York, NY, USA, 2016, pp. 986-993.

[#21 | PDF | Citation File (.bib) | IROS #9] M. V. Liarokapis, B. Calli, A. J. Spiers and A. M. Dollar, "Unplanned, model-free, single grasp object classification with underactuated hands and force sensors," 2015 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Hamburg, 2015, pp. 5073-5080.

[#20 | PDF | Citation File (.bib) | IROS #8] C. I. Mavrogiannis, M. V. Liarokapis and K. J. Kyriakopoulos, "Quantifying anthropomorphism of robot arms," 2015 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Hamburg, 2015, pp. 4084-4089.

[#19 | PDF | Citation File (.bib) | IROS #7] G. P. Kontoudis, M. V. Liarokapis, A. G. Zisimatos, C. I. Mavrogiannis and K. J. Kyriakopoulos, "Open-source, anthropomorphic, underactuated robot hands with a selectively lockable differential mechanism: Towards affordable prostheses," 2015 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Hamburg, 2015, pp. 5857-5862.

[#18 | PDF | Citation File (.bib)] M. V. Liarokapis, A. M. Dollar and K. J. Kyriakopoulos, "Humanlike, task-specific reaching and grasping with redundant arms and low-complexity hands," 2015 International Conference on Advanced Robotics (ICAR), Istanbul, 2015, pp. 490-497.

[#17 | PDF | Citation File (.bib) | IROS #6] A. G. Zisimatos, M. V. Liarokapis, C. I. Mavrogiannis and K. J. Kyriakopoulos, "Open-source, affordable, modular, light-weight, underactuated robot hands," 2014 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, Chicago, IL, 2014, pp. 3207-3212.

[#16 | PDF | Citation File (.bib) | IROS #5] G. I. Boutselis, C. P. Bechlioulis, M. V. Liarokapis and K. J. Kyriakopoulos, "Task specific robust grasping for multifingered robot hands," 2014 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, Chicago, IL, 2014, pp. 858-863.

[#15 | PDF | Citation File (.bib) | IROS #4] C. P. Bechlioulis, M. V. Liarokapis and K. J. Kyriakopoulos, "Robust model free control of robotic manipulators with prescribed transient and steady state performance," 2014 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, Chicago, IL, 2014, pp. 41-46.

[#14 | PDF | Citation File (.bib) | IROS #3] S. Heshmati-alamdari, C. P. Bechlioulis, M. V. Liarokapis and K. J. Kyriakopoulos, "Prescribed performance image based visual servoing under field of view constraints," 2014 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, Chicago, IL, 2014, pp. 2721-2726.

[#13 | PDF | Citation File (.bib)] M. V. Liarokapis, A. G. Zisimatos, M. N. Bousiou and K. J. Kyriakopoulos, "Open-source, low-cost, compliant, modular, underactuated fingers: Towards affordable prostheses for partial hand amputations," 2014 36th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, Chicago, IL, 2014, pp. 2541-2544.

[#12 | PDF | Citation File (.bib) | ICRA #5] C. I. Mavrogiannis, C. P. Bechlioulis, M. V. Liarokapis and K. J. Kyriakopoulos, "Task-specific grasp selection for underactuated hands," 2014 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Hong Kong, 2014, pp. 3676-3681.

[#11 | PDF | Citation File (.bib) | ICRA #4] G. I. Boutselis, C. P. Bechlioulis, M. V. Liarokapis and K. J. Kyriakopoulos, "An integrated approach towards robust grasping with tactile sensing," 2014 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Hong Kong, 2014, pp. 3682-3687.

[#10 | PDF | Citation File (.bib)] M. V. Liarokapis, P. K. Artemiadis, K. J. Kyriakopoulos and E. S. Manolakos, "A Learning Scheme for Reach to Grasp Movements: On EMG-Based Interfaces Using Task Specific Motion Decoding Models," in IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics, vol. 17, no. 5, pp. 915-921, Sept. 2013.

[#9 | PDF | Citation File (.bib) | IROS #2] M. V. Liarokapis, P. K. Artemiadis and K. J. Kyriakopoulos, "Mapping human to robot motion with functional anthropomorphism for teleoperation and telemanipulation with robot arm hand systems," 2013 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, Tokyo, 2013, pp. 2075-2075.

[#8 | PDF | Citation File (.bib)] M. V. Liarokapis, P. K. Artemiadis and K. J. Kyriakopoulos, "Telemanipulation with the DLR/HIT II robot hand using a dataglove and a low cost force feedback device," 21st Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation, Chania, 2013, pp. 431-436.

[#7 | PDF | Citation File (.bib)] M. V. Liarokapis, P. K. Artemiadis and K. J. Kyriakopoulos, "Task discrimination from myoelectric activity: A learning scheme for EMG-based interfaces," 2013 IEEE 13th International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics (ICORR), Seattle, WA, 2013, pp. 1-6.

[#6 | PDF | Citation File (.bib) | ICRA #3] M. V. Liarokapis, P. K. Artemiadis and K. J. Kyriakopoulos, "Quantifying anthropomorphism of robot hands," 2013 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Karlsruhe, 2013, pp. 2041-2046.

[#5 | PDF | Citation File (.bib)] M. V. Liarokapis, P. K. Artemiadis and K. J. Kyriakopoulos, "Functional Anthropomorphism for human to robot motion mapping," 2012 IEEE RO-MAN: The 21st IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication, Paris, 2012, pp. 31-36.

[#4 | PDF | Citation File (.bib)] M. V. Liarokapis, P. K. Artemiadis, P. T. Katsiaris and K. J. Kyriakopoulos, "Learning task-specific models for reach to grasp movements: Towards EMG-based teleoperation of robotic arm-hand systems," 2012 4th IEEE RAS & EMBS International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics (BioRob), Rome, 2012, pp. 1287-1292.

[#3 | PDF | Citation File (.bib) | ICRA #2] M. V. Liarokapis, P. K. Artemiadis, P. T. Katsiaris, K. J. Kyriakopoulos and E. S. Manolakos, "Learning human reach-to-grasp strategies: Towards EMG-based control of robotic arm-hand systems," 2012 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Saint Paul, MN, 2012, pp. 2287-2292.

[#2 | PDF | Citation File (.bib) | ICRA #1] P. K. Artemiadis, P. T. Katsiaris, M. V. Liarokapis and K. J. Kyriakopoulos, "On the effect of human arm manipulability in 3D force tasks: Towards force-controlled exoskeletons," 2011 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Shanghai, 2011, pp. 3784-3789.

[#1 | PDF | Citation File (.bib) | IROS #1] P. K. Artemiadis, P. T. Katsiaris, M. V. Liarokapis and K. J. Kyriakopoulos, "Human arm impedance: Characterization and modeling in 3D space," 2010 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, Taipei, 2010, pp. 3103-3108.

Edited Book Chapters

[#2 | PDF | Citation File (.bib)] M. V. Liarokapis, C. P. Bechioulis, G. I. Boutselis and K. J. Kyriakopoulos, "A Learn by Demonstration Approach for Closed-Loop, Robust, Anthropomorphic Grasp Planning." Human and Robot Hands: Sensorimotor Synergies to Bridge the Gap Between Neuroscience and Robotics. Springer International Publishing, 2016. 127-149.

[#1 | PDF | Citation File (.bib)] M. V. Liarokapis, K. J. Kyriakopoulos, and P. K. Artemiadis. "A learning scheme for EMG based interfaces: On task specificity in motion decoding domain." Neuro-Robotics: From Brain Machine Interfaces to Rehabilitation Robotics. Springer Netherlands, 2014. 3-36.

Workshops and Abstracts

[#2 | PDF | Citation File (.bib)] M. V. Liarokapis, A. G. Zisimatos, C. I. Mavrogiannis and K. J. Kyriakopoulos, "OpenBionics: An Open-Source Initiative for the Creation of Affordable, Modular, Light-Weight, Underactuated Robot Hands and Prosthetic Devices", 2nd ASU Rehabilitation Robotics Workshop - Arizona State University (ASU), Tempe, AZ, 2014.

[#1 | PDF | Citation File (.bib)] M. Bianchi and M. V. Liarokapis, "HandCorpus, a New Open-Access Repository for Sharing Experimental Data and Results on Human and Artificial Hands", IEEE World Haptics Conference (WHC), Daejeon, 2013.

Technical Reports

[#3 | PDF | Citation File (.bib)] G. P. Kontoudis, M. V. Liarokapis, A. G. Zisimatos, C. I. Mavrogiannis, and K. J. Kyriakopoulos, "How to Create Affordable, Anthropomorphic, Personalized, Light-Weight Prosthetic Hands", Control Systems Lab, School of Mechanical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, October 2015.

[#2 | PDF | Citation File (.bib)] A. G. Zisimatos, M. V. Liarokapis, C. I. Mavrogiannis, G. P. Kontoudis and K. J. Kyriakopoulos, "How to Create A ffordable, Modular, Light-Weight, Underactuated, Compliant Robot Hands", Control Systems Lab, School of Mechanical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, January 2015.

[#1 | PDF | Citation File (.bib)] M. V. Liarokapis, P. K. Artemiadis, C. P. Bechlioulis and K. J. Kyriakopoulos, "Directions, Methods and Metrics for Mapping Human to Robot Motion with Functional Anthropomorphism: A Review", Control Systems Lab, School of Mechanical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, September 2013.

PhD Theses

Minas V. Liarokapis, EMG Based Interfaces for Human Robot Interaction in Structured and Dynamic Environments, Dissertation. National Technical University of Athens, 2014. [PDF] [Compressed PDF] [Citation File (.bib)]

INITIATIVES

Participation in research initiatives.


OpenBionics

OpenBionics is an open-source initiative that focuses on the development of affordable, light-weight, modular robot hands and prosthetic devices, that can be easily reproduced using rapid prototyping techniques and off-the-shelf materials. Dr Minas Liarokapis is the founder of the OpenBionics initiative.

The OpenBionics prosthetic hand design won the 2015 Robotdalen International Innovation award and the 2nd Prize (out of 900 projects) of the 2015 Hackaday Prize. More information can be found at OpenBionics website: www.openbionics.org

OpenRobotHardware

OpenRobotHardware is intended to serve as a resource for efforts focusing on open and open-source mechanical and electrical hardware, with a particular focus on projects that may be useful in robotics applications, robotics research and education.

Prof. Aaron Dollar (Yale University) is the Founder / Coordinator of OpenRobotHardware, while Dr Minas Liarokapis is a Co-Founder / Technical Coordinator. More details can be found at the following URL: www.openrobothardware.org

HandCorpus

The HandCorpus is a new repository where everyone can freely share and search for different kinds of experimental data about human and robotic hands. The repository is currently supported by 7 European Research Council/European Commission funded projects, and has a growing community that consists of 22 international research groups from 18 universities and 4 research institutes, across the world.

HandCorpus was created in collaboration with Matteo Bianchi and is available at: www.handcorpus.org

CONTACT

Interested in our research? Contact us!



+64 9-923-6688
m [dot] liarokapis [at] auckland [dot] ac [dot] nz