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Advanced Robotics

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About

Photo: Körber-Stiftung / David Ausserhofer

Jörn Malzahn received his Diploma in electrical engineering from TU Dortmund University as the best of the year in 2008. In 2014 he received the Doctorate in Engineering (Dr.-Ing.) with distinction (summa cum laude) from the Institute of Control Theory and Systems Engineering (RST) of TU Dortmund University. The dissertation entitled:

"Modeling and Control of Multi-Elastic-Link Robots under Gravity – From Oscillation Damping and Position Control to Physical Interaction"

Print version: Fortschritt-Berichte VDI Reihe 8 Nr. 1237. Düsseldorf: VDI Verlag 2014
ISBN 978-3-18-523708-9
Online version

has been selected as award finalist for Germany's most important dissertations of the year 2015 by the Körber Stiftung ("Deutscher Studienpreis für die wichtigsten Dissertationen des Jahres"). In January 2015 he joined the Advanced Robotics Group at IIT.

Jörn Malzahn is member of the program committee of the bi-annual German mechatronics conference "VDI Mechatronik" and the annual IFToMM D-A-CH Conference. He chaired the 1st IFToMM D-A-CH Conference in 2015. Moreover, he serves as associate editor for the IEEE International Conference on Multi-sensor Fusion and Integration for Intelligent Systems (MFI) and was co-chair of the 9th Human-Friendly Robotics Workshops 2016 in Genoa. He chaired the IEEE/RSJ IROS 2016 Workshops “Mechatronics
behind Force/Torque Controlled Robot Actuation: Secrets and Challenges" and currently serves as a guest editor for the joint topic on "Advances in Mecha-
tronics and Biomechanics towards Efficient Robot Actuation" in the Frontiers Journals "Bioengineering and Biotechnology" as well as "Frontiers in Robotics and AI"

His research interest focuses on lightweight bioinspired structural designs in conjunction with control algorithms for robots with the objective to improve their energy efficiency as well as strength on one hand, while simultaneously donating sensitive proprioceptive capabilities to the robots on the other hand.

Conference and Workshop Publications

Giusti, A., J. Malzahn, N. Tsagarakis, and M. Althoff: “Combined Inverse Dynamics/Passivity-Based Control for Robots with Elastic Joints”. In: International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Singapore: IEEE-RAS, accepted, 2017.

Bethge, S., J. Malzahn, N. Tsagarakis, and D. Caldwell: “FloBaRoID - A Software Package for the Identification of Robot Dynamics Parameters”. In: 26th International Conference on Robotics in Alpe-Adria-Danube Region, accepted, Turin, June 2017.

John, F. I., J. Malzahn, and T. Bertram: “Strukturelastische Roboterarme Mit Mehreren Schwingungsebenen”. In: VDI Mechatroniktagung , pp. 162 - 167, Dresden March 2017

Roozing, W., J. Malzahn, D. G. Caldwell, and N. G. Tsagarakis: “Comparison of Open-Loop and Closed-Loop Disturbance Observers for Series Elastic Actuators”. In: International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS). IEEE/RSJ, pp. 3842–3847, Daejon, October 2016.

Alsayegh, M., F. I. Mues, J. Malzahn, and T. Bertram: “Analytic Forward and Inverse Kinematics of a Multi–Elastic–Link Robot Arm”. In: 47th International Symposium on Robotics. VDE/IFR, 425-430,  Munich, June 2016.

Negrello, F., M. Garabini, M. G. Catalano, J. Malzahn, D. G. Caldwell, A. Bicchi and N. G. Tsagarakis: “A Modular Compliant Actuator for Emerging High Performance and Fall-Resilient Humanoids”. In: IEEE-RAS 15th International Conference on Humanoid Robots (Humanoids), pp. 414-420, November 2015.

Malzahn, J., R. Schloss and T. Bertram: “Link Elasticity Exploited for Payload Estimation and Force Control”. In: IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), vol. 1508-1513, October 2015.

Malzahn, J. and T. Bertram: “Fractional Order Strain Feedback for Oscillation Damping of a Multi-Elastic-Link Arm Under Gravity”. In: Proceedings of the joint conference of the 45th International Symposium on Robotics (ISR 2014) and the 8th German Conference on Robotics (ROBOTIK 2014), Munich, Germany, June 2014.

Malzahn, J. and T. Bertram: “Robotics Toolbox Code Generation Module”. In: ICRA Workshop: MATLAB/Simulink for Robotics Education and Research, Hong Kong, China, June 2014.

Phung, A. S., J. Malzahn, F. Hoffmann and T. Bertram: “Learning to Catch Moving Objects with Reduced Impulse Exchange”. In: IFAC World Congress, Cape Town (South Africa), pp. 3036-3041, 2014.

Malzahn, J. and T. Bertram: “Collision Detection and Reaction for a Multi-Elastic-Link Robot Arm”. In: IFAC World Congress, Cape Town (South Africa), pp. 320-325, 2014

Malzahn, J., R. F. Reinhart and T. Bertram: Dynamics Identification of a Damped Multi Elastic Link Robot Arm under Gravity”. In: IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Hong Kong, China, pp. 2170-2175, May 2014.

Phung, A. S., J. Malzahn, F. Hoffmann and T. Bertram: Tool Centered Learning from Demonstration for Robotic Arms with Visual Feedback”. In: IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Biomimetics, Guangzhou (China), December 2012

Malzahn, J., A. S. Phung and T. Bertram: “Predictive Delay Compensation for Camera Based Oscillation Damping of a Multi-Link Flexible Robot”. In: International Conference on Intelligent Robotics and Applications (ICIRA), Montreal (Canada), October 2012.

Malzahn, J., A. S. Phung and T. Bertram: Scene Adaptive RGB-D Based Oscillation Sensing for a Multi Flexible Link Robot Arm in Unstructured Dynamic Environments”. In: IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Vilamoura (Portugal), October 2012.

Malzahn, J., A. S. Phung and T. Bertram: “A Multi-Link-Flexible Robot Arm Catching Thrown Balls”. In: 7th German Conference on Robotics, pp. 411-416, May 2012.

Phung, A. S., J. Malzahn, F. Hoffmann and T. Bertram : „Datenbasierte Modellierung der Kinematik eines dreigliedrigen elastischen Roboterarms“. In: Workshop Computational Intelligence, Dortmund, pp. 187-202, December 2011.

Malzahn, J., A. S. Phung, F. Hoffmann and T. Bertram: “Vibration Control of a Multi-Flexible-Link Robot Arm under Gravity”. In: IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Biomimetics, Phuket (Thailand), pp. 1249-1254, December 2011.

Phung, A. S., J. Malzahn, F. Hoffmann and T. Bertram: “Data Based Kinematic Model of a Multi-Flexible-Link Robot Arm for Varying Payloads”. In: IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Biomimetics, Phuket (Thailand), pp. 1255-1260, December 2011.

Phung, A. S., J. Malzahn, F. Hoffmann and T. Bertram: Get Out of the Way - Obstacle Avoidance and Learning by Demonstration for Manipulation, 18th IFAC World Congress, Milano, Italy, pp. 11514-11519, September 2011.

Malzahn, J., A. S. Phung, F. Hoffmann, M. Ruderman and T. Bertram: „Modellfreie Schwingungsdämpfung eines eingliedrigen elastischen Roboterarms unter Gravitationseinfluss“. In: Fachtagung Mechatronik, Dresden, Deutschland, pp. 89-94, March 2011.

Phung, A. S., J. Malzahn, F. Hoffmann and T. Bertram: Lernen durch Demonstration und Kollisionsvermeidung mit Dynamischen Bewegungsprimitiven“, Workshop Computational Intelligence, Bommerholz, KIT Scientific Publishing, S. 250-263, 2010.

Malzahn, J., M. Ruderman, A. S. Phung, F. Hoffmann and T. Bertram: Input Shaping and strain gauge feedback vibration control of an elastic robotic arm”. In: IEEE Conference on Control and Fault Tolerant Systems, pp. 672-677, Nice, France, 2010.

Malzahn, J., A. S. Phung, R. Franke, F. Hoffmann and T. Bertram: “Markerless Visual Vibration Damping of a 3-DOF Flexible Link Robot Arm”. In: International Symposium on Robotics and the German Conference on Robotics, Munich, Germany, pp. 401-408, June 2010.

Kracht, M., J. Malzahn, F. Hoffmann and T. Bertram: “Image Based Visual Servoing For Lane Keeping Assistance”. In: World Automotive Congress FISITA, Budapest, Hungary, May 2010.

Malzahn, J., R. Franke, F. Hoffmann and T. Bertram: „Modellierung und Regelung eines mehrgliedrigen elastischen Roboterarms. In: Fachtagung VDI Automation, Baden-Baden, Germany, Juni 2009.

Franke, R., J. Malzahn, T. Nierobisch, F. Hoffmann and T. Bertram: “Vibration control of a multi link flexible robot arm with Fiber-Bragg-Grating-Sensors“. In: IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Kobe, Japan, pp. 3365-3370, May 2009.

Nierobisch, T., K. V. Patel, J. Malzahn, F. Hoffmann and T. Bertram: “Rapid Prototyping of Visual Servoing Controllers with Virtual Reality”. In: Polish-German Mechatronic Workshop "System Integration", Ilmenau 2007.

Journal Publications

Tsagarakis, N., D.G. Caldwell, A. Bicchi et al. : “WALK-MAN : A High Performance Humanoid Platform for Realistic Environments”. In: Journal of Field Robotics, accepted.

Kashiri, N., J. Malzahn, and N. G. Tsagarakis: “On the Sensor Design of Torque Controlled Actuators: A Comparison Study of Strain Gauge and Encoder-Based Principles”.In: IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters with oral presentation at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), vol. 2. no. 2, pp.1186–1194, April 2017.

Malzahn, J. and T. Bertram: “Flexible robot links - A dilemma offers novel options for force sensing and interaction control”. In: Springer Forschung im Ingenieurwesen, 80.3-4, pp. 121-136, November 2016.

Malzahn, J. and T. Bertram: “On the Equivalence of Direct Strain Feedback and Lumped Parameter Wave Echo Control for Oscillation Damping of Elastic-Link Arms”. In: IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters with oral presentation at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), vol. 1, no. 1, pp 447-454, January 2016.

Malzahn, J., A. S. Phung, F. Hoffmann and T. Bertram: „Bildbasierte Regelung eines gliedelastischen Roboterarms mit einem RGB-D-Sensor“. In: at – Automatisierungstechnik, vol. 60, no. 5, pp. 246-259, 2012.

Franke, R., T. Nierobisch, J. Malzahn, F. Hoffmann and T. Bertram: „Simulation und Verifikation einer bildbasierten Schwingungsdetektion zur Regelung des mehrgliedrigen elastischen Leichtbauarms TUDOR“. In: Technische Wissenschaften, no. 4, pp. 27-33, 2009.

Talks

Malzahn, J.: "Design and Control of Torque Controlled Walk-Man Actuators: Experiences and Solutions". In: IROS Workshop on the Mechatronics behind Force/Torque Controlled Robot Actuation: Secrets & Challenges, Daejon, October 2016.

Malzahn, J., N. Tsagarakis and D.G. Caldwell: "On the Use of Elastic Components in Robots“. In: IFToMM D-A-CH Konferenz, Innsbruck, February 2016.

Malzahn, J. and T. Bertram: “Link Elasticity in a Robot Arm - From a Problem to an Opportunity”. In: DGR Tage, München, October 2013.

Malzahn, J. and T. Bertram: „Einsatz eines RGB-D-Sensors zur schwingungsgedämpften Positionierung eines gliedelastischen Roboterarms“. In: Regelungstechnisches Kolloquium, Boppard, 2011.

Video Publications

Malzahn, J. and T. Bertram: Oscillation Damping, Collision Detection and Reaction for a Multi-Elastic-Link Robot Arm, August 2013.

Malzahn, J., R. Balachandran and T. Bertram: Experiments on force control of a multi-flexible-link robot, January 2013.

Malzahn, J., A. S. Phung, F. Hoffmann and T. Bertram: A multi-link-flexible robot arm catching thrown softballs, September 2011.

Malzahn, J., A. S. Phung, F. Hoffmann and T. Bertram: Experimental validation of model-free vibration-damping, June 2011.

Malzahn, J., A. S. Phung, F. Hoffmann and T. Bertram: initial visual servoing experiments with a multi-flexible-link arm, June 2011.

Phung, A. S., J. Malzahn, F. Hoffmann and T. Bertram: Tip position control of a multi-flexible-link robot arm for varying payloads using neural networks, June 2011.

Software and Data Publications

Malzahn, J. and W. Roozing: Compliant Joint Toolbox, 2016.

Malzahn, J.: MERIt - A Multi-Elastic-Link Robot Identification Dataset, April 2014.

Malzahn, J.: CodeGenerator-Module for the RoboticToolbox by Peter Corke (release 9.8), January 2013.

Malzahn, J.: Symbolic Robot Modeling Toolbox,
October 2012.

 

Awards

Finalist "Deutscher Studienpreis für die wichtigsten Dissertationen des Jahres" (transl: Award for the most important dissertations of the year), Körber Stiftung, 2015 (link)

 

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I numeri di IIT

L’Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) è una fondazione di diritto privato - cfr. determinazione Corte dei Conti 23/2015 “IIT è una fondazione da inquadrare fra gli organismi di diritto pubblico con la scelta di un modello di organizzazione di diritto privato per rispondere all’esigenza di assicurare procedure più snelle nella selezione non solo nell’ambito nazionale dei collaboratori, scienziati e ricercatori ”.

IIT è sotto la vigilanza del Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca e del Ministero dell'Economia e delle Finanze ed è stato istituito con la Legge 326/2003. La Fondazione ha l'obiettivo di promuovere l'eccellenza nella ricerca di base e in quella applicata e di favorire lo sviluppo del sistema economico nazionale. La costruzione dei laboratori iniziata nel 2006 si è conclusa nel 2009.

Lo staff complessivo di IIT conta circa 1440 persone. L’area scientifica è rappresentata da circa l’85% del personale. Il 45% dei ricercatori proviene dall’estero: di questi, il 29% è costituito da stranieri provenienti da oltre 50 Paesi e il 16% da italiani rientrati. Oggi il personale scientifico è composto da circa 60 principal investigators, circa 110 ricercatori e tecnologi di staff, circa 350 post doc, circa 500 studenti di dottorato e borsisti, circa 130 tecnici. Oltre 330 posti su 1400 creati su fondi esterni. Età media 34 anni. 41% donne / 59 % uomini.

Nel 2015 IIT ha ricevuto finanziamenti pubblici per circa 96 milioni di euro (80% del budget), conseguendo fondi esterni per 22 milioni di euro (20% budget) provenienti da 18 progetti europei17 finanziamenti da istituzioni nazionali e internazionali, circa 60 progetti industriali

La produzione di IIT ad oggi vanta circa 6990 pubblicazioni, oltre 130 finanziamenti Europei e 11 ERC, più di 350 domande di brevetto attive, oltre 12 start up costituite e altrettante in fase di lancio. Dal 2009 l’attività scientifica è stata ulteriormente rafforzata con la creazione di dieci centri di ricerca nel territorio nazionale (a Torino, Milano, Trento, Parma, Roma, Pisa, Napoli, Lecce, Ferrara) e internazionale (MIT ed Harvard negli USA) che, unitamente al Laboratorio Centrale di Genova, sviluppano i programmi di ricerca del piano scientifico 2015-2017.

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IIT: the numbers

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) is a public research institute that adopts the organizational model of a private law foundation. IIT is overseen by Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca and Ministero dell'Economia e delle Finanze (the Italian Ministries of Education, Economy and Finance).  The Institute was set up according to Italian law 326/2003 with the objective of promoting excellence in basic and applied research andfostering Italy’s economic development. Construction of the Laboratories started in 2006 and finished in 2009.

IIT has an overall staff of about 1,440 people. The scientific staff covers about 85% of the total. Out of 45% of researchers coming from abroad 29% are foreigners coming from more than 50 countries and 16% are returned Italians. The scientific staff currently consists of approximately 60 Principal Investigators110 researchers and technologists350 post-docs and 500 PhD students and grant holders and 130 technicians. External funding has allowed the creation of more than 330 positions . The average age is 34 and the gender balance proportion  is 41% female against 59% male.

In 2015 IIT received 96 million euros in public funding (accounting for 80% of its budget) and obtained 22 million euros in external funding (accounting for 20% of its budget). External funding comes from 18 European Projects, other 17 national and international competitive projects and approximately 60 industrial projects.

So far IIT accounts for: about 6990 publications, more than 130 European grants and 11 ERC grants, more than 350 patents or patent applications12 up start-ups and as many  which are about to be launched. The Institute’s scientific activity has been further strengthened since 2009 with the establishment of 11 research nodes throughout Italy (Torino, Milano, Trento, Parma, Roma, Pisa, Napoli, Lecce, Ferrara) and abroad (MIT and Harvard University, USA), which, along with the Genoa-based Central Lab, implement the research programs included in the 2015-2017 Strategic Plan.