3 best robotics research institutions and labs in the Netherlands

In the previous post, we have listed some of the top robotics research institutions and labs in Greece. In this post today, we will see the top five robotics research institutions and labs in the Netherlands.

Robotics Institute – Delft University of Technology

The Delft University of Technology’s robotics institute aims to introduce new robotics technology that will enable robots to work with humans, thus contributing to all manual labor beyond standard factory environments. They investigate critical aspects of modern robotics, focusing on bio-inspired robot design, human-robot interaction, autonomous control, and machine learning.

Their research groups include Cognitive Robotics, Biomechanical Engineering, Precision and Microsystems Engineering, Delft Center for Systems and Control, Precision and Microsystems Engineering, Embedded Software, Software Engineering, Electronics Research Lab, Control & Simulation, Space Systems Engineering, Moral Philosophy and Technology, Systems Engineering, Section ICT, Mechatronics, Physical Ergonomics and Hyperbody.

The ESA Telerobotics & Haptics Laboratory

ESA Telerobotics & Haptics Laboratory is a European Space Agency (ESA) engineering research laboratory. It aims to create value through fundamental research and development in robotics, telerobotics, mechatronics, human-robot systems, and haptic devices. Best characterized by theoretical analysis combined with mechatronic system optimization, the laboratory develops advanced mechatronic tools, control algorithms, and related teleoperation and haptic systems mainly for space applications.

The researchers study how to optimize related technologies for efficient interaction with various human operators and target robotic systems. Their vision is that this’ human-centric approach’ will enable future truly intuitive control interfaces and telerobotics systems. All research in the laboratory focuses on’ human-centric design.’ In practice, all systems are optimized for the use of the human operator.

Control and mechatronics solutions are aimed at optimizing human functionality, anatomy, and motor control capabilities in remote execution tasks. Moreover, improving the robustness and quality of related mechatronic systems is a crucial scope of our prototypes and systems. Their key research areas include Haptic devices, Telerobotics systems, Human-robot interaction, Advanced Mechatronics, Robotics interoperation, 3D vision, Augmented reality, Control frameworks, Real-time target platforms, Impedance control, Manipulation, Bilateral control, Force control, and Haptics.

Robotics and Mechatronics Group – University of Twente

The University of Twente’s Robotics and Mechatronics group focuses on novel technology and scientific methodologies to design and develop complete robotic systems and similar intelligent devices, i.e., cyber-physical systems. The binding paradigm is the use of port-based methodologies for real-use modeling, control, embedded software and mechatronics, and robotics systems design.

The group focuses on understanding the basic properties that govern the dynamics and interacting behavior of mechatronic and robotic systems (modeling) and creates complete systems that achieve the desired behaviors (control, embedding, and design). It is done using port-based concepts (bond-graphs, portHamiltonian systems, and process-oriented structures of software). This paradigm is a collective group factor. The port-based paradigm has proven successful in finding practical solutions to problems such as time delay telemanipulation, new passive non-linear control strategies, power distribution, etc.

Once a problem is modeled, extensive simulations are run, mostly with Controllab Products’ 20sim package, one of the group’s spin-off companies. This software is growing in recognition and is now used by the European Space Agency for multi-physics simulations, among others. These results are followed by creative sessions to choose ways to solve the problem at hand. Solutions are then re-evaluated, both through simulation and real realization of mechatronic systems and their embedded control software. The unique mechanical parts are 3D-printed or made by local contacts (SME or Saxion Applied Sciences University). For this, a specific section of the group is responsible for the computational and architectural parts of the systems to be developed.