Robotics in Serbia have a long history. In 1963, Professor Rajko Tomovic started researching orthopedic aides and developed the first prosthetic robotic hand named ‘Belgrade hand.’ It was the first externally-powered adaptive prosthetic with myoelectric controls and sensory feedback. It set the further developments in exoskeletons in Serbia.
In 1968, Miomir Vukobratovic, one of the pioneers of world robotics, founded the Robotics Laboratory at the Mihajlo Pupin Institute with vision to study methods for robotic movements, which continues to this day. His works in the mathematical modeling of anthropomorphic active mechanisms had a profound impact on global humanoid robotics.
His most important research in robotics was the famous ZMP (Zero Moment Point) theory, published in 1969. In this paper, he explained the principle of a theoretical movement model for a humanoid robot that is still used today as the basis for all android robots. Before ZMP, robots had tremendous difficulty maintaining balance in movement. Later, he built the first powered exoskeleton at Mihailo Pupin Institute in 1969. In 1972, his team tested the most successful version of the exoskeleton, designed for the rehabilitation of people with paraplegia and similarly disabilities.
In 1978, the institute constructed the first industrial robot with an anthropomorphic configuration. Unfortunately, in the 80s and 90s, the robotics research in Serbia lost its strength with respect to its neighboring countries and the rest of the world. Reports estimate that there are only 300-400 installed robot units in Serbia today. At the moment, Serbia uses robots in production, for the packaging and palletizing of products, facility inspection, quality control, and for mechanical welding structures in the car industry.
Most cited and influential Serbian works in robotics
- 1969 – Vukobratović, M., Juričić, D.: Contribution to the synthesis of biped gait
- 1969 – Gavrilović, M., Marić, M.: Positional servo-mechanism activated by artificial muscles
- 1970 – Vukobratović, M., Frank, .A., Juričić, D.: On the stability of biped locomotion
- 1972 – Vukobratović, M., Stepanenko, Y.: On the stability of anthropomorphic systems
- 1973 – Vukobratović, M., Stepanenko, Y.: Mathematical models of general anthropomorphic systems
- 1974 – Vukobratović, M., Hristić, D., Stojiljković, Z.: Development of active anthropomorphic exoskeletons
- 1982 – Vukobratović, M., Kirćanski, M.: Method for optimal synthesis of manipulation robot trajectories
- 1984 – Vukobratović, M., Kirćanski, M.: A dynamic approach to nominal trajectory synthesis for redundant manipulators
- 1985 – Vukobratović, M., Kirćanski, N.: Real-time dynamics of manipulation robots
- 1986 – Vukobratović, M., Kirćanski, M.: Kinematics and trajectory synthesis of manipulation robots
- 1987 – Tomović, R., Bekey, G., Karplus, W.J.: A strategy for grasp synthesis with multi-fingered robot hands
- 1990 – Vukobratović, M., Borovac, B., Surla, D., Stokić, D.: Biped locomotion: dynamics, stability, control, and application
- 1994 – Karan, B., Vukobratović, M.: Calibration and accuracy of manipulation robot models—an Overview
- 1999 – Vukobratović, M., Potkonjak, V.: Dynamics of contact tasks in robotics. Part I: General model of a robot interacting with the environment
- 2003 – Katić, D., Vukobratović, M.: Survey of intelligent control techniques for humanoid robots
- 2004 – Vukobratović, M., Borovac, B.: Zero-Moment Point – Thirty Five Years of its Life
- 2006 – Vukobratović, M., Borovac, B., Potkonjak, V.: ZMP: A review of some basic misunderstandings
Our previous post listed some of the top robotics research institutions and labs in Switzerland. Today, we present the top robotics research institutions and labs in Serbia.
Mihajlo Pupin Institute at the University of Belgrade
Robotics Laboratory at the Mihailo Pupin Institute is a member of the University of Belgrade. Home of the Zero-Moment Point (ZMP) concept, the institute has been very successful in the fields of SCADA systems, automation, electronics, electro energetics, robotics, computer systems, telecommunications, traffic control and physics (gasses, crystals, etc.).
The laboratory offers broad knowledge and experience in robotics, automation, and control engineering. The research focus is on humanoid, service and rehabilitation robotics, system identification, advanced modeling, and control of large-scale systems, intelligent control, synthesis of artificial anthropomorphic locomotion, trajectory planning, bio-inspired intelligent control of autonomous systems, cognitive robotic systems, multi-agent cooperative robotics, etc.
ETF Robotics Research Group at the University of Belgrade
ETF Robotics is a research group at the University of Belgrade, School of Electrical Engineering (ETF), Signals & Systems Department. The members participate in several international and domestic research projects on humanoid and industrial robotics such as ECCEROBOT, Virtual Robotic Lab, Robots in Sports, Robotic Handwriting, etc. Its research focus includes mathematical modeling of robot dynamics, robot interaction, simulation, control, and related applications of robotic systems.