BUTTERFLY ROBOT —
REVOLUTIONARY SET-UP
FOR HIGHER EDUCATION
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WHAT IS THE "BUTTERFLY ROBOT"?
UNIVERSAL HARDWARE/SOFTWARE BUNDLE
FOR ENGINEERING EDUCATION
AND SUPPLEMENTARY TRAINING
VERY SAFE TO USE
AND EASY TO SET-UP AND FIX
PROFESSIONAL LAB EQUIPMENT
UNIQUE SUPPORT FOR LEARNING
KEY COMPONENTS OF A GENERIC ROBOTIC
AUTOMATION SYSTEM
BUTTERFLY ROBOT
IS AN IDEAL LAB SET-UP FOR VARIOUS UNIVERSITY COURSES ON
ROBOTICS
MECHATRONICS
AUTOMATIC CONTROL
COMPUTER VISION

Our unique mechatronic laboratory system presents a set of well-documented unique guided challenges within the nonlinear control of mechatronic systems aimed at the creation of stable periodic motions. The task is inspired and directly connected to such topics as humanoid robot locomotion, flexible grasping with non-prehensile manipulation, and other modern cutting edge research topics in robotics.

The Butterfly Robot is a unique laboratory software/hardware bundle that is designed to illustrate state-of-the-art technology and to provide hands-on experience for students to supplement theoretical methods covered within such standard university courses on Bachelor or Master of Science levels as:

  • Nonlinear control theory
  • Robot Modelling and Control
  • Computer vision
  • Real-time control or Embedded systems

For each of these courses, a set of experimental tutorials is suggested along with supplementary materials, which will help students to familiarize themselves with basic principles studied within these courses. The Butterfly Robot’s working principle is based on cutting edge developments in the nonlinear control theory. As a result, it will be also of interest for Ph.D. students and researchers in the field. The equipment is supplied with a set of numerical models, which will allow simulation of the dynamical processes in Python or Matlab/Simulink that in turn will simplify development of control algorithms.

One of the key benefits of «Butterfly» Robot is that while being safe to operate it contains simplified versions of major components that are typically present in all industrial robotic systems, such as: an actuator, a mechatronic part, a computer vision system, an embedded real-time rapid control prototyping system. The image analysis for computer vision and the real- time control implementation are performed by separate computing units. This will allow students to get hands-on experience in design and architecture of distributed control systems as well.

Sample experiments for a «Computer vision» course
1. Camera calibration: identification of parameters of the camera and the scene
2. Image recognition and objects classification
3. Estimation of coordinates and of a velocity of an object from a video stream
4. Image processing algorithms, their implementation, and optimization for real-time control systems

Sample experiments for a «Control Systems» course
1. Dynamical systems modeling, parameters identification, filtration algorithms and estimation of state-space variables from external measurements
2. Linearization of a nonlinear dynamical system in a vicinity of an equilibrium point, stabilization of an unstable equilibrium of a nonlinear system
3. Classical and advanced motion tracking algorithms
4. Linear quadratic optimal control problem

Sample experiments for a «Robotics» course
1. Modeling, numerical simulation, identification, and analysis of underactuated systems and systems with nonprehensile constraints
2. Motion planning for underactuated systems taking into account reaction forces imposed by nonprehensile contacts
3. Classical and advanced methods of motion stabilization

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DELIVERY CONTENTS
The set-up is delivered as a fully integrated laboratory complex, ready for use. The supplied materials include software solutions and teaching aids (descriptions of suggested Laboratory assignments) that help students learning both the basic principles of the specific disciplines and the state-of-the-art scientific ideas. Teachers receive a training course from Robotikum on the maintenance of the equipment, and continuous support including updates of software and add descriptions of the proposed assignments.

The kit also includes a computer model of the experimental set-up, which makes it possible to carry out numerical experiments at home prior to hardware implementation. Our integrated software and hardware bundle may be of interest to graduate students and researchers.
SAMPLE USE CASES
Our Butterfly Robot is already actively used in universities in the departments of robotics, applied mechanics and in research labs in Europe.

Our set-up has modifications with simplified tasks and can be used for educational purposes for advanced students of mathematical and physical lyceums and secondary schools.

Nowadays, the Butterfly Robot is installed in such universities as:

— St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University (Russia)

— Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Norway)

— Tomsk Polytechnic University (Russia)
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