Simon Fraser University
Affiliated Labs

The SFU Robotics group currently consists of the following 9 laboratories:

MENRVA Lab;   Autonomy Lab;    RAMP Lab;    Locomotion Lab;    IDEA Lab;

BSL Lab;    ERL Lab;    Moallem’s Lab;    Rad’s Lab

A brief description of each laboratory is provided in the following table.

MENRVA Lab (Dr. Menon). Our research involves several disciplines including Robotics, Mechatronics, Dynamics, MEMS, Smart materials and structures, Artificial muscles, and Design of mechanisms. We are developing robots capable to climb vertical surfaces to be used in space applications, exoskeletons for rehabilitation and force amplification of the hand, mechatronic devices for medical applications, smart structures and materials to be embedded in high-tech suits.

Autonomy Lab (Dr. Vaughan). The Autonomy Lab builds life-like machines. Our goal is to increase the autonomy (i.e. self-control and self-maintenance) of robots and other machines. The aquisition and management of resources such as energy and space is a fundamental, unavoidable task for all living things. From an ecological perspective, intelligent behaviour can be seen as rational manipulation of resources. This observation underlies our approach to building autonomous systems.

RAMP Lab (Dr. Gupta). An ultimate goal in robotics is to create autonomous robots. Such robots will accept high level description of the tasks and carry them out without human intervention. The main theme underlying our research here at RAMP Lab is development of algorithms and planners for automatic synthesis of robotic motions and manipulation tasks. Within this broad framework, the research focuses on both model-based and sensor-based path planning, planning for dextrous manipulation, synthesis and design of part orientation devices, and 3-D range sensing for robotic tasks.

Locomotion Lab (Dr. Donelan). Research in the SFU Locomotion Lab focuses on understanding the fundamental principles that underlie the physiology of legged locomotion as well as the application of these principles to improve human health. We use a combination of mathematical modeling and empirical experimentation with the latter involving techniques from biomechanics, energetics and neurophysiology. At a fundamental level, a more complete understanding of legged locomotion provides insight into the behavior, ecology and evolution of animals. At a more applied level, understanding locomotion is useful in the design of legged robots or energy harvesting devices.

IDEA Lab (Dr. Gruver). The Intelligent & Distributed Enterprise Automation (iDEA) Laboratory is a unit of the School of Engineering Science at SFU. Under the direction of Prof. William A. Gruver, students and staff in the iDEA Laboratory conduct research in intelligent agent and holonic systems with applications to manufacturing systems and supply chains, robotic systems, and infrastructure systems for energy, transportation, and security. The core research topics for these systems include agent architectures, agent intelligence, agent communications, agent collaboration, agent simulation and optimization, and agent human-machine interfaces.

BSL Lab (Dr. Park). My leading-edge research program is focused in the following two application-driven thematic areas. THEME 1: biomechatronics and biorobotics applied to next generation biomedical and wearable technologies for life sciences, rehabilitation, and medicine – e.g., bioMEMS and biomanipulation for tissue engineering, wearable sensors and robotic exoskeletons for physical medicine and rehabilitation. THEME 2: smart structures, materials and controls applied to next generation vehicular, robotic and space systems – e.g., shape memory artificial muscles, magnetorheological and eddy current automotive brakes, distributed control methods.

ERL Lab (Dr. Payandeh). Experimental Robotics Laboratory at Simon Fraser University has the following main themes in its objectives:(1) Grasping and Manipulation; (2) Contact Interpretation and Haptic Rendering; (3) Medical Robotics; (4) Cooperative Autonomous Agents. Please look at the endoSCOPE Newsletter (Last Updated, 2000) to find out more about one of the ERL projects. If you want to build interactively a robot and move it around AND you have a VRML Plug-in (such as CosmoPlayer), click on ”Let Us Play”.If you want to interact with Visualized Mechanics and have VRML Plug-in, ”Let Us Visualize”.

Moallem’s Lab (Dr. Moallem). Mechatronics, Robotics (Medical Robotics, Advanced Robotic Applications), Control Applications, Real-time and Embedded Computing, FPGA design for Embedded Controllers, Micro- and Nano-electromechanical Systems, Electronic Circuits and Systems, Instrumentation and Measurement, Smart Sensor and Actuator Technologies. Main areas of research: (1) Control of nonlinear systems in mechatronics and other applications; (2) Control of vibration and flexure in mechatronic systems; (3) Smart sensor and actuator technologies; (4) Shape Memory Alloy actuators, Piezoelectric Transducers; (5) Development of Real-time and Embedded Computer Control Systems.

Rad’s Lab (Dr. Rad). Autonomous mobile robots; SLAM; Advanced Vehicle Control Systems; Intelligent control; Time delay systems; System identification; Process control.