Research in the area of robotics began with Prof. Ashitava Ghosal’s group in the late 1980s and continues to flourish today. The focus is on both foundational and applied aspects of kinematics, dynamics, control and motion planning by development, implementation and validation of associated theories and algorithms, Research and developmental activities in this area have been funded by various government agencies and private companies in India and abroad. A large number of students have been trained in this area at doctoral and master’s levels. The course “ME 246 Introduction to Robotics” has been offered in the Department for many years by Prof. Ghosal. His research topics of past and present include multi-fingered hands, wheeled and walking robots, hyper-redundant snake robots, and nonlinear control. Lately, he has collaborated with Prof. Aditya Murthy’s group at the Centre for Neuroscience, IISc on motor learning and coordination.
Two other groups in the Department also have distinctive engagement in this field. Prof. G.K. Ananthasuresh’s group has developed a pipe-crawling robot, a haptic aid for cutting tissue, and a commercialized endoscopy simulator with haptics and graphics. Furthermore, on the basis of his work on SU-8 micro robots used in cell mechanics studies, he is involved in autonomous microrobotics with other colleagues in IISc. Recently, Prof. Ramsharan Rangarajan has started to investigate flexible robots wherein slender beams are used for manipulation tasks. He is also interested in employing deep learning for solving complex problems in path planning.