Motivation

Robotics is flourishing. Innovative robot mechanisms constantly see the light of day, and their use may increase dramatically in the near future. Whether on Earth or in Space, from research labs, to medicine, or industry, we see parallel and walking robots, force-feedback devices, flying manipulators, anthropomorphic hands and arms, humanoids, and other sophisticated machines in action. The capacity to perform complex motions in a precise and reliable way is essential for such devices, but the analysis and planning of such motions is by no means trivial. It requires a deep understanding of so-called singularities, the special configurations of a mechanism in which the kinematic and dynamic behavior undergoes sudden and dramatic change.

The purpose of this school is to introduce key methods, milestone results, and main problems involving singularities of mechanisms and robotic manipulators. The 3rd edition of the school will be celebrated in Barcelona, following the earlier succesful editions in Udine (2014) and Linz (2017).

The lectures will provide a wide overview of cutting-edge work around the following topics:

  • Definition of singularity. Singularity types.
  • Mathematical characterization of singularities.
  • Local and global topology of the singularity set and configuration space.
  • Symbolic and numerical tools for singularity set computation.
  • Methods to compute singularity-avoiding motions.
  • Applications to illustrative robots and mechanisms.

The school will offer a good balance of theory and practice. The attendees will be introduced to the mathematical theory needed to cope with singularities, but also to the software tools to compute and visualize them. Computer rooms with preinstalled software packages will be used, in which the attendees will be guided on the application of such tools to illustrative robots and mechanisms.

See the school flyer. Feel free to distribute it.