Robotics is a field requiring the integration of multiple expertises. Robot design requires indeed integrating a mechanical structure, one or several actuators, one or several sensors, and a controller governing the robot behavior. This controller has also to be implemented by using the dedicated IT tools.
Historical robotics applications were mostly developed for the industry, in the late 70s. The goal of industrial robotics is automatization of fabrication processes, targeting the increase of productivity.
From more than one decade, robotics further penetrated other application fields, characterized by unpredictable environments (while an industrial operation zone is usually unchanging and predictable). Therefore, these robots have to adapt their behavior in response to changes in the interactions with the environment. Such applications are:
- Mobile robots (wheeled and legged robots), evolving on unknown and potentially irregular terrains.
- Surgical robots, assisting the surgeon to reach difficult body regions, to perform very accurate gestures (out of standard human capacities), etc'
- Rehabilitation robots, assisting patients with motor deficits to recover part of their autonomy.
- Companion robots, providing various services like load transport, guide in a museum, etc' to one or several persons.
The goal of this course is to provide a global vision of robotics challenges to Master students, both in classical applications (industrial robotics) and in more avant-gardist applications.