Robotics and Biomechatronics

Our research lies at the intersection of robotics and bionics. We equip robots with dexterous manipulation capabilities and we enable humans to regain their lost dexterity or augment their performance, modeling, designing and controlling new robotics and bionics hardware.



The New Dexterity research group is affiliated with the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Auckland in New Zealand.

Team Members

ME Students
Research Theses
Taru Naug
Varatharajan Srinivasan

ME Students
Research Projects
Waris Hasan
Harshavardhini Thiruvengadam
Undergraduate Students
Bryan Busby
Charlie Chen
Amaasha de Alwis
Lydia Hingston
Charlie Hu
Keshav Krishna
Geetanjali Lamba
Tzer Xi Lim
Jimmy Lin
Jonathan Mace
Seo In Park
Alice Xiao

We always seek exceptional students to expand our team. If you are interested in pursuing a Master of Engineering or a PhD degree, you are encouraged to contact us. A strong background in Robotics or Bionics is required. Please check also the following promotional videos of the University of Auckland. The robot hand presented in the "never stop" commercial (right) is a New Dexterity - OpenBionics prosthetic hand.

Latest Video

Affordances-Oriented, Bimanual Robotic Telemanipulation


NEWS

List of recent news & activities.


November, 2019 - The New Dexterity \ AI Data Innovations team (Anany Dwivedi, Ben Chang, Gal Gorjup, Geng Gao, Ruobing Yu, and Minas Liarokapis) got the 1st place of the Manufacturing track of the Robotic Grasping and Manipulation Competition of IEEE\RSJ International Conference on Robotics and Intelligent Systems (IROS) 2019 (Macau, China).


November, 2019 - Anany, Ben, Gal, Gao, and Minas attended IEEE\RSJ International Conference on Robotics and Intelligent Systems (IROS) 2019 (Macau, China).


October, 2019 - The New Dexterity research group got the following award at the 2019 Final Year Project awards ceremony:

Team members: Lydia Hingston and Jonathan Mace
Award: Mechanical Engineering Group (MEG), industry award
Project: "Reconfigurable, Lightweight Grasping Mechanisms for Aerial Robotic Vehicles"


August, 2019 - Two papers have been accepted for presentation at the IEEE IEEE-RAS International Conference on Humanoid Robots (Humanoids) that will be held in Toronto (Canada).


August, 2019 - A paper on EMG based decoding of dexterous, in-hand manipulation motions has been accepted for publication in the IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering.


July, 2019 - Two papers have been accepted for presentation at the IEEE International Conference on Robot & Human Interactive Communication (ROMAN) that will be held in New Delhi (India).


June, 2019 - Four papers (including 1 IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters paper) have been accepted for presentation at the IEEE\RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) that will be held in Macau (China).


June, 2019 - A paper prepared in collaboration with George Kontoudis from VirginiaTech has been accepted for publication in the Frontiers in Robotics and AI.


April, 2019 - Gal Gorjup got the first prize for the best presentation among all 1st year PhD students participating in the 5th Mechanical Engineering Postgraduate Conference of the University of Auckland.


April, 2019 - A paper prepared in collaboration with George Kontoudis from VirginiaTech and 2 papers of the team have been accepted for presentation in the IEEE-RAS-EMBS International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics (ICORR) and the 41st Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC'19) respectively.


April, 2019 - University of Auckland tops first global ranking to measure institutions' social and economic impact according to Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings.


January, 2019 - Three papers (including 1 IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters paper) have been accepted for presentation at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) that will be held in Montreal (Canada).


December, 2018 - A paper on tendon-driven, adaptive, soft exogloves has been accepted for publication in IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RAL).


December, 2018 - Minas Liarokapis got a Students' Choice Top Teacher award. He was selected by students as one of the top 15 lecturers of the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Auckland.


October, 2018 - A paper on combining analytical modeling and learning to simplify dexterous manipulation with adaptive robot hands has been accepted for publication in IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering (T-ASE).


October, 2018 - The New Dexterity research group got 2 awards at the 2018 Final Year Project awards ceremony. The awards are as follows:

Team members: Yige Cao and Lucy Young
Award: Beckhoff Automation Limited, industry award
Project: "Augmented Reality based Humanlike Telemanipulation with a Dual Robot Arm Hand System"

Team members: Luke Cen and Varun Karkera
Award: Caliber Design, industry award
Project: "Autonomous Package Delivery with a New Class of Reconfigurable Drones"

Congratulations!


October, 2018 - The New Dexterity research group was a bronze sponsor and an exhibitor of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Intelligent Systems (IROS) 2018 (Madrid, Spain).

New Dexterity


April, 2018- The New Dexterity team is developing a new class of reconfigurable drones for package delivery.


April, 2018 - A paper on muscle selection for EMG based decoding of dexterous, in-hand manipulation motions has been accepted for publication in the proceedings of the 40th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC).


October, 2017 - The New Dexterity research group got 3 awards at the 2017 Final Year Project awards ceremony. The awards are as follows:

Team members: Gaogeng Gao and Peter Gasparini
Award: Crown Equipment / RTC group, industry award
Project: "Modeling, Analysis and Development of an Anthropomorphic Robot Hand"

Team members: Andrew McLaren and Zachary Fitzgerald
Award: EDNZ, industry award
Project: "Development of an Adaptive Robot Hand for Aerial Grasping"

Award: Mechatronics Staff Award
Team members: Bruno Johnston and Zak Flintoff
Project: "Learning to Identify Objects with Blind Grasps using a Hyper-Adaptive Robot Hand"

Bravo guys!

New Dexterity


September, 2017 - The New Dexterity research group is a bronze sponsor and an exhibitor of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Intelligent Systems (IROS) 2017 (Vancouver, Canada).


September, 2017 - Minas attended the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Intelligent Systems (IROS) 2017 (Vancouver, Canada) and gave 4 talks on adaptive grasping mechanisms.


June, 2017 - 2/2 of our papers were accepted for publication in the proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Intelligent Systems (IROS) 2017 (Vancouver, Canada).


March, 2017 - The New Dexterity team participates with some new robot hand designs in the Maker's Space exhibition at the digiPlaySpace of the Toronto International Film Festival.


February 22, 2017 - Minas organized in collaboration with the University of Auckland General Library and Creative Commons NZ, a workshop with title "Creative Commons licenses and how to apply them".


January 16, 2017 - Minas joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Auckland as a Lecturer (Auckland, New Zealand).

RESEARCH

Information regarding our research.


Robust Grasping

Dexterous Manipulation

Haptic Object Identification

Adaptive Robot Hands

Assistive Devices

Brain Machine Interfaces

Humanlike Telemanipulation

Human & Robot Dexterity

Reconfigurable Drones

A New Family of Adaptive Hands

We work on the development of a new family of adaptive, intrinsically-compliant, under-actuated robot hands.

Robust Grasping

We develop methodologies for executing robust grasping in presence of object pose uncertainties or other environmental uncertainties and disturbances (including aerial grasping).

Dexterous, In-Hand Manipulation

We work on the development of hybrid schemes that combine analytical, numerical and learning methods for simplifying dexterous manipulation with simple, adaptive robot hands.

Single-Grasp, Model-Free Object Identification

We develop haptic object identification methodologies of minimal complexity (e.g., single-grasp, model-free).

Modelling the Post-Contact Behaviour of Adaptive Hands

We work on the analysis and modelling of the post-contact behaviour of adaptive robot hands.

Soft, Adaptive Exogloves

We work on the analysis, modelling and development of soft, adaptive exogloves for rehabilitation and human augmentation.

Learning Schemes for EMG/EEG Based Interfaces

We formulate advanced learning schemes for intuitive and simplified EMG/EEG based control of robotic and prosthetic devices.

Teleoperation and Telemanipulation

We formulate advanced teleoperation and telemanipulation schemes for robot arm hand systems.

Evaluating the Dexterity of Human and Robot Hands

We are interested in evaluating the dexterity of human and robot hands, deriving appropriate metrics for design optimization.

Reconfigurable Drones for Package Delivery

We are developing a new class of reconfigurable drones for package delivery.

PROJECTS

Here you can find information regarding our on-going projects. More details can be found in our Github page.

NDX Adaptive Robot Hands

Adaptive Robot Grippers and Hands

A family of adaptive robot grippers and hands for industrial automation and service robotics applications.

Soft Exogloves

Exogloves

Body Powered and Electromyography controlled exogloves that are adaptive, tendon-driven, wearable, and soft.

Telemanipulation

Affordances Oriented Telemanipulation

An affordances oriented, simple, intuitive telemanipulation framework that facilitates the execution of bimanual manipulation tasks.

Aerial Grasping

Aerial Grasping Devices

We create adaptive robot hands and grippers for aerial grasping.

PUBLICATIONS

List of research papers prepared by the New Dexterity research team.
Previous publications of Dr. Minas Liarokapis can be found here.


Peer Reviewed Publications

2019

[#21] Anany Dwivedi, Yongje Kwon, Andrew McDaid, and Minas Liarokapis, "A Learning Scheme for EMG Based Decoding of Dexterous, In-Hand Manipulation Motions," IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, 2019.

[#20 | ROMAN #2] Che-Ming Chang, Lucas Gerez, Nathan Elangovan, Agisilaos Zisimatos, and Minas Liarokapis, "Unconventional Uses of Structural Compliance in Adaptive Hands," IEEE International Conference on Robot & Human Interactive Communication (ROMAN), New Delhi, India, 2019.

[#19 | PDF | ROMAN #1] Anany Dwivedi, Gal Gorjup, Yongje Kwon, and Minas Liarokapis, "Combining Electromyography and Fiducial Marker Based Tracking for Intuitive Telemanipulation with a Robot Arm Hand System," IEEE International Conference on Robot & Human Interactive Communication (ROMAN), New Delhi, India, 2019.

[#18 | PDF | IROS #7] Gal Gorjup, Anany Dwivedi, Nathan Elangovan, and Minas Liarokapis, "An Intuitive, Affordances Oriented Telemanipulation Framework for a Dual Robot Arm Hand System: On the Execution of Bimanual Tasks," IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Macau, China, 2019.

[#17 | PDF | IROS #6] Andrew John McLaren, Zak Fitzgerald, Geng Gao, and Minas Liarokapis, "A Passive Closing, Tendon Driven, Adaptive Robot Hand for Ultra-Fast, Aerial Grasping and Perching," IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Macau, China, 2019.

[#16 | IROS #5] Lucas Gerez, Geng Gao, and Minas Liarokapis, "Employing Magnets to Improve the Force Exertion Capabilities of Adaptive Robot Hands in Precision Grasps," IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Macau, China, 2019.

[#15 | RA-L #2 \ IROS #4] Anany Dwivedi, Lucas Gerez, Waris Hasan, Chi-Hung Yang, and Minas Liarokapis, "A Soft Exoglove Equipped with a Wearable Muscle-Machine Interface Based on Forcemyography and Electromyography," IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L), 2019.

[#14] George Kontoudis, Minas Liarokapis, Kyriakos Vamvoudakis, and Tomonari Furukawa, "An Adaptive Actuation Mechanism for Anthropomorphic Robot Hands," Frontiers in Robotics and AI , 2019.

[#13 | EMBC #3] Lucas Gerez and Minas Liarokapis, "An Underactuated, Tendon-Driven, Wearable Exo-Glove With a Four-Output Differential Mechanism," 41st Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC), Berlin, Germany, 2019.

[#12 | PDF | EMBC #2] Geng Gao, Lucas Gerez, and Minas Liarokapis, "Adaptive, Tendon-Driven, Affordable Prostheses for Partial Hand Amputations: On Body-powered and Motor Driven Implementations," 41st Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC), Berlin, Germany, 2019.

[#11] George Kontoudis, Minas Liarokapis, and Kyriakos Vamvoudakis, "A Compliant, Underactuated Finger for Anthropomorphic Hands," IEEE/RAS-EMBS International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics (ICORR), Toronto, Canada, 2019.

[#10 | PDF | ICRA #3] Geng Gao, Anany Dwivedi, Nathan Elangovan, Yige Cao, Lucy Young, and Minas Liarokapis, "The New Dexterity Adaptive, Humanlike Robot Hand," IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2019.

[#9 | PDF | ICRA #2] Tom Bewley and Minas Liarokapis, "On the Combination of Gamification and Crowd Computation in Industrial Automation and Robotics Applications," IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2019.

[#8 | PDF | RA-L #1 \ ICRA #1] Lucas Gerez, Junan Chen, and Minas Liarokapis, "On the Development of Adaptive, Tendon-Driven, Wearable Exo-Gloves for Grasping Capabilities Enhancement," IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L), 2019.

[#7 | PDF] Minas Liarokapis and Aaron M. Dollar, "Combining Analytical Modeling and Learning to Simplify Dexterous Manipulation With Adaptive Robot Hands," IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering (T-ASE), 2019.

2018

[#6 | PDF | IROS #3] Zak Flintoff, Bruno Johnston, and Minas Liarokapis, "Single-Grasp, Model-Free Object Classification using a Hyper-Adaptive Hand, Google Soli, and Tactile Sensors," IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Madrid, Spain, 2018.

[#5 | PDF] Anany Dwivedi, Yongje Kwon, Andrew J. McDaid, and Minas Liarokapis, "EMG Based Decoding of Object Motion in Dexterous, In-Hand Manipulation Tasks," 7th IEEE RAS/EMBS International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics (BioRob), Enschede, Netherlands, 2018.

[#4 | PDF] Lucas Gerez and Minas Liarokapis, "A Compact Ratchet Clutch Mechanism for Fine Tendon Termination and Adjustment," IEEE International Conference on Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics, Auckland, New Zealand, 2018.

[#3 | PDF | EMBC #1] Yongje Kwon, Anany Dwivedi, Andrew J. McDaid, and Minas Liarokapis, "On Muscle Selection for EMG Based Decoding of Dexterous, In-Hand Manipulation Motions," 40th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC), Honolulu, HI, USA, 2018.

2017

[#2 | PDF | IROS #2] Minas V. Liarokapis and Aaron M. Dollar, "Deriving Dexterous, In-Hand Manipulation Primitives for Adaptive Robot Hands," 2017 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Vancouver, Canada, 2017.

[#1| PDF | IROS #1] Minas V. Liarokapis and Aaron M. Dollar, "Learning the Post-Contact Reconfiguration of the Hand Object System for Adaptive Grasping Mechanisms," 2017 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Vancouver, Canada, 2017.

INITIATIVES

Participation in research initiatives.


OpenBionics

OpenBionics is an open-source initiative that focuses on the development of affordable, light-weight, modular robot hands and prosthetic devices, that can be easily reproduced using rapid prototyping techniques and off-the-shelf materials. Dr Minas Liarokapis is the founder of the OpenBionics initiative.

The OpenBionics prosthetic hand design won the 2015 Robotdalen International Innovation award and the 2nd Prize (out of 900 projects) of the 2015 Hackaday Prize. More information can be found at OpenBionics website: www.openbionics.org

OpenRobotHardware

OpenRobotHardware is intended to serve as a resource for efforts focusing on open and open-source mechanical and electrical hardware, with a particular focus on projects that may be useful in robotics applications, robotics research and education.

Prof. Aaron Dollar (Yale University) is the Founder / Coordinator of OpenRobotHardware, while Dr Minas Liarokapis is a Co-Founder / Technical Coordinator. More details can be found at the following URL: www.openrobothardware.org

HandCorpus

The HandCorpus is a new repository where everyone can freely share and search for different kinds of experimental data about human and robotic hands. The repository is currently supported by 7 European Research Council/European Commission funded projects, and has a growing community that consists of 22 international research groups from 18 universities and 4 research institutes, across the world.

HandCorpus was created in collaboration with Matteo Bianchi and is available at: www.handcorpus.org

VIDEOS

Research videos in chronological order.


ALUMNI

ME Students
Research Projects
Shivang Pathak, 2017
Brahmaji Alla Rudhra, 2017
Pratik Sankh, 2017
*** Junan Chen, 2018
Alexandre Eichene, 2018
Ashkan Eslamighane, 2018
Sai Sasanka Jupalli, 2018
*** Chi-Hung Yang, 2018

ME Students
Research Theses
Helen Evans, 2019
Undergraduate Students
Part IV Research Project
Regan Cornelius, 2017
*|** Zachary Fitzgerald, 2017
*|** Zak Flintoff, 2017
Eythan Prendergast, 2017
*|** Yige Cao, 2018
* Luke Cen, 2018
Laurence de Burgh, 2018
* Varun Karkera, 2018
Evan Maunder ,2018
Karl Pereira ,2018
Mark Pochivalov, 2018
Brandon Samountry, 2018
Jonathan Willis, 2018
*|** Lucy Young, 2018
Undergraduate Students
Part IV + Research Assistants
* Peter Gasparini, 2017
*|** Geng Gao, 2017
*|** Bruno Johnston, 2017
Jared Lean, 2017
Nisal Manamperi, 2017
*|** Andrew McLaren, 2017

Undergraduate Students
Summer Research Scholarships & Internships
Mohd Babar, 2018
David Shi, 2018
** Tom Bewley, 2018
Petar Gorgiovski, 2019
Likhitha Satrasala, 2019
Students with * got a Final Year Project award.
Students with ** had their research published in a conference paper.
Students with *** had their research published in a journal paper.

CONTRACTS & CONSULTING

Our research has been funded by industrial partners in Germany, USA and Japan, as well as by the University of Auckland Faculty Research Development Fund and the Center for Automation and Robotics Engineering Science pilot projects funding.

We have considerable experience commercializing our research outputs and we have worked with industrial partners in the field of industrial automation and service robotics. Although we typically work with industry via R&D contracts we also offer consulting services on a case-by-case basis.

If you are interested in working with us please contact Dr. Minas Liarokapis (minas.liarokapis@auckland.ac.nz).

CONTACT

Interested in our research? Contact us!



+64 9-923-6688
m.liarokapis@auckland.ac.nz