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2019


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Hierarchical Task-Parameterized Learning from Demonstration for Collaborative Object Movement

Hu, S., Kuchenbecker, K. J.

Applied Bionics and Biomechanics, (9765383), December 2019 (article)

Abstract
Learning from demonstration (LfD) enables a robot to emulate natural human movement instead of merely executing preprogrammed behaviors. This article presents a hierarchical LfD structure of task-parameterized models for object movement tasks, which are ubiquitous in everyday life and could benefit from robotic support. Our approach uses the task-parameterized Gaussian mixture model (TP-GMM) algorithm to encode sets of demonstrations in separate models that each correspond to a different task situation. The robot then maximizes its expected performance in a new situation by either selecting a good existing model or requesting new demonstrations. Compared to a standard implementation that encodes all demonstrations together for all test situations, the proposed approach offers four advantages. First, a simply defined distance function can be used to estimate test performance by calculating the similarity between a test situation and the existing models. Second, the proposed approach can improve generalization, e.g., better satisfying the demonstrated task constraints and speeding up task execution. Third, because the hierarchical structure encodes each demonstrated situation individually, a wider range of task situations can be modeled in the same framework without deteriorating performance. Last, adding or removing demonstrations incurs low computational load, and thus, the robot’s skill library can be built incrementally. We first instantiate the proposed approach in a simulated task to validate these advantages. We then show that the advantages transfer to real hardware for a task where naive participants collaborated with a Willow Garage PR2 robot to move a handheld object. For most tested scenarios, our hierarchical method achieved significantly better task performance and subjective ratings than both a passive model with only gravity compensation and a single TP-GMM encoding all demonstrations.

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DOI [BibTex]


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Low-Hysteresis and Low-Interference Soft Tactile Sensor Using a Conductive Coated Porous Elastomer and a Structure for Interference Reduction

Park, K., Kim, S., Lee, H., Park, I., Kim, J.

Sensors and Actuators A: Physical, 295, pages: 541-550, August 2019 (article)

Abstract
The need for soft whole-body tactile sensors is emerging. Piezoresistive materials are advantageous in terms of making large tactile sensors, but the hysteresis of piezoresistive materials is a major drawback. The hysteresis of a piezoresistive material should be attenuated to make a practical piezoresistive soft tactile sensor. In this paper, we introduce a low-hysteresis and low-interference soft tactile sensor using a conductive coated porous elastomer and a structure to reduce interference (grooves). The developed sensor exhibits low hysteresis because the transduction mechanism of the sensor is dominated by the contact between the conductive coated surface. In a cyclic loading experiment with different loading frequencies, the mechanical and piezoresistive hysteresis values of the sensor are less than 21.7% and 6.8%, respectively. The initial resistance change is found to be within 4% after the first loading cycle. To reduce the interference among the sensing points, we also propose a structure where the grooves are inserted between the adjacent electrodes. This structure is implemented during the molding process, which is adopted to extend the porous tactile sensor to large-scale and facile fabrication. The effects of the structure are investigated with respect to the normalized design parameters ΘD, ΘW, and ΘT in a simulation, and the result is validated for samples with the same design parameters. An indentation experiment also shows that the structure designed for interference reduction effectively attenuates the interference of the sensor array, indicating that the spatial resolution of the sensor array is improved. As a result, the sensor can exhibit low hysteresis and low interference simultaneously. This research can be used for many applications, such as robotic skin, grippers, and wearable devices.

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


Learning Variable Impedance Control for Contact Sensitive Tasks
Learning Variable Impedance Control for Contact Sensitive Tasks

Bogdanovic, M., Khadiv, M., Righetti, L.

arXiv preprint, arXiv:1907.07500, July 2019 (article)

Abstract
Reinforcement learning algorithms have shown great success in solving different problems ranging from playing video games to robotics. However, they struggle to solve delicate robotic problems, especially those involving contact interactions. Though in principle a policy outputting joint torques should be able to learn these tasks, in practice we see that they have difficulty to robustly solve the problem without any structure in the action space. In this paper, we investigate how the choice of action space can give robust performance in presence of contact uncertainties. We propose to learn a policy that outputs impedance and desired position in joint space as a function of system states without imposing any other structure to the problem. We compare the performance of this approach to torque and position control policies under different contact uncertainties. Extensive simulation results on two different systems, a hopper (floating-base) with intermittent contacts and a manipulator (fixed-base) wiping a table, show that our proposed approach outperforms policies outputting torque or position in terms of both learning rate and robustness to environment uncertainty.

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[BibTex]


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Physical activity in non-ambulatory toddlers with cerebral palsy

M.Orlando, J., Pierce, S., Mohan, M., Skorup, J., Paremski, A., Bochnak, M., Prosser, L. A.

Research in Developmental Disabilities, 90, pages: 51-58, July 2019 (article)

Abstract
Background: Children with cerebral palsy are less likely to be physically active than their peers, however there is limited evidence regarding self-initiated physical activity in toddlers who are not able, or who may never be able, to walk. Aims: The aim of this study was to measure self-initiated physical activity and its relationship to gross motor function and participation in non-ambulatory toddlers with cerebral palsy. Methods and procedures: Participants were between the ages of 1–3 years. Physical activity during independent floor-play at home was recorded using a wearable tri-axial accelerometer worn on the child’s thigh. The Gross Motor Function Measure-66 and the Child Engagement in Daily Life, a parent-reported questionnaire of participation, were administered. Outcomes and results: Data were analyzed from the twenty participants who recorded at least 90 min of floor-play (mean: 229 min), resulting in 4598 total floor-play minutes. The relationship between physical activity and gross motor function was not statistically significant (r = 0.20; p = 0.39), nor were the relationships between physical activity and participation (r = 0.05−0.09; p = 0.71−0.84). Conclusions and implications: The results suggest physical activity during floor-play is not related to gross motor function or participation in non-ambulatory toddlers with cerebral palsy. Clinicians and researchers should independently measure physical activity, gross motor function, and participation.

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


Implementation of a 6-{DOF} Parallel Continuum Manipulator for Delivering Fingertip Tactile Cues
Implementation of a 6-DOF Parallel Continuum Manipulator for Delivering Fingertip Tactile Cues

Young, E. M., Kuchenbecker, K. J.

IEEE Transactions on Haptics, 12(3):295-306, June 2019 (article)

Abstract
Existing fingertip haptic devices can deliver different subsets of tactile cues in a compact package, but we have not yet seen a wearable six-degree-of-freedom (6-DOF) display. This paper presents the Fuppeteer (short for Fingertip Puppeteer), a device that is capable of controlling the position and orientation of a flat platform, such that any combination of normal and shear force can be delivered at any location on any human fingertip. We build on our previous work of designing a parallel continuum manipulator for fingertip haptics by presenting a motorized version in which six flexible Nitinol wires are actuated via independent roller mechanisms and proportional-derivative controllers. We evaluate the settling time and end-effector vibrations observed during system responses to step inputs. After creating a six-dimensional lookup table and adjusting simulated inputs using measured Jacobians, we show that the device can make contact with all parts of the fingertip with a mean error of 1.42 mm. Finally, we present results from a human-subject study. A total of 24 users discerned 9 evenly distributed contact locations with an average accuracy of 80.5%. Translational and rotational shear cues were identified reasonably well near the center of the fingertip and more poorly around the edges.

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DOI Project Page [BibTex]


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How Does It Feel to Clap Hands with a Robot?

Fitter, N. T., Kuchenbecker, K. J.

International Journal of Social Robotics, 12(1):113-127, April 2019 (article)

Abstract
Future robots may need lighthearted physical interaction capabilities to connect with people in meaningful ways. To begin exploring how users perceive playful human–robot hand-to-hand interaction, we conducted a study with 20 participants. Each user played simple hand-clapping games with the Rethink Robotics Baxter Research Robot during a 1-h-long session involving 24 randomly ordered conditions that varied in facial reactivity, physical reactivity, arm stiffness, and clapping tempo. Survey data and experiment recordings demonstrate that this interaction is viable: all users successfully completed the experiment and mentioned enjoying at least one game without prompting. Hand-clapping tempo was highly salient to users, and human-like robot errors were more widely accepted than mechanical errors. Furthermore, perceptions of Baxter varied in the following statistically significant ways: facial reactivity increased the robot’s perceived pleasantness and energeticness; physical reactivity decreased pleasantness, energeticness, and dominance; higher arm stiffness increased safety and decreased dominance; and faster tempo increased energeticness and increased dominance. These findings can motivate and guide roboticists who want to design social–physical human–robot interactions.

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Response of active Brownian particles to shear flow

Asheichyk, K., Solon, A., Rohwer, C. M., Krüger, M.

The Journal of Chemical Physics, 150(14), American Institute of Physics, Woodbury, N.Y., 2019 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Vortex Mass in the Three-Dimensional O(2) Scalar Theory

Delfino, G., Selke, W., Squarcini, A.

Physical Review Letters, 122(5), American Physical Society, Woodbury, N.Y., 2019 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Ferromagnetic colloids in liquid crystal solvents

Zarubin, G.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2019 (phdthesis)

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Fluctuating interface with a pinning potential

Pranjić, Daniel

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2019 (mastersthesis)

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Dynamics near planar walls for various model self-phoretic particles

Bayati, P., Popescu, M. N., Uspal, W. E., Dietrich, S., Najafi, A.

Soft Matter, 15(28):5644-5672, Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, UK, 2019 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Glucose Oxidase Micropumps: Multi-Faceted Effects of Chemical Activity on Tracer Particles Near the Solid-Liquid Interface

Munteanu, R. E., Popescu, M. N., Gáspár, S.

Condensed Matter, 4(3), MDPI, Basel, 2019 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]


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Criticality senses topology

Vasilyev, O. A., Maciolek, A., Dietrich, S.

EPL, 128(2), EDP Science, Les-Ulis, 2019 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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A Robustness Analysis of Inverse Optimal Control of Bipedal Walking

Rebula, J. R., Schaal, S., Finley, J., Righetti, L.

IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, 4(4):4531-4538, 2019 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Drag Force for Asymmetrically Grafted Colloids in Polymer Solutions

Werner, M., Malgaretti, P., Maciolek, A.

Frontiers in Physics, 7, Frontiers Media, Lausanne, 2019 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Feeling Your Neighbors across the Walls: How Interpore Ionic Interactions Affect Capacitive Energy Storage

Kondrat, S., Vasilyev, O., Kornyshev, A. A.

The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 10(16):4523-4527, American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, 2019 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Active Janus colloids at chemically structured surfaces

Uspal, W. E., Popescu, M. N., Dietrich, S., Tasinkevych, M.

The Journal of Chemical Physics, 150(20), American Institute of Physics, Woodbury, N.Y., 2019 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Illumination-induced motion of a Janus nanoparticle in binary solvents

Araki, T., Maciolek, A.

Soft Matter, 15(26):5243-5254, Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, UK, 2019 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Transient response of an electrolyte to a thermal quench

Janssen, M., Bier, M.

Physical Review E, 99(4), American Physical Society, Melville, NY, 2019 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Rigid vs compliant contact: an experimental study on biped walking

Khadiv, M., Moosavian, S. A. A., Yousefi-Koma, A., Sadedel, M., Ehsani-Seresht, A., Mansouri, S.

Multibody System Dynamics, 45(4):379-401, 2019 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Aging phenomena during phase separation in fluids: decay of autocorrelation for vapor\textendashliquid transitions

Roy, Sutapa, Bera, Arabinda, Majumder, Suman, Das, Subir K.

Soft Matter, 15(23):4743-4750, Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, UK, 2019 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Controlling pattern formation in the confined Schnakenberg model

Beyer, David Bernhard

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2019 (mastersthesis)

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Flux and storage of energy in nonequilibrium stationary states

Holyst, R., Maciolek, A., Zhang, Y., Litniewski, M., Knycha\la, P., Kasprzak, M., Banaszak, M.

Physical Review E, 99(4), American Physical Society, Melville, NY, 2019 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Correlations and forces in sheared fluids with or without quenching

Rohwer, C. M., Maciolek, A., Dietrich, S., Krüger, M.

New Journal of Physics, 21, IOP Publishing, Bristol, 2019 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]


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Ensemble dependence of critical Casimir forces in films with Dirichlet boundary conditions

Rohwer, C. M., Squarcini, A., Vasilyev, O., Dietrich, S., Gross, M.

Physical Review E, 99(6), American Physical Society, Melville, NY, 2019 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Controlling the dynamics of colloidal particles by critical Casimir forces

Magazzù, A., Callegari, A., Staforelli, J. P., Gambassi, A., Dietrich, S., Volpe, G.

Soft Matter, 15(10):2152-2162, Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, UK, 2019 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Charge regulation radically modifies electrostatics in membrane stacks

Majee, A., Bier, M., Blossey, R., Podgornik, R.

Physical Review E, 100(5), American Physical Society, Melville, NY, 2019 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Comment on "Which interactions dominate in active colloids?" [J. Chem. Phys. 150, 061102 (2019)]

Popescu, M. N., Dominguez, A., Uspal, W. E., Tasinkevych, M., Dietrich, S.

The Journal of Chemical Physics, 151(6), American Institute of Physics, Woodbury, N.Y., 2019 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Current-mediated synchronization of a pair of beating non-identical flagella

Dotsenko, V., Maciolek, A., Oshanin, G., Vasilyev, O., Dietrich, S.

New Journal of Physics, 21, IOP Publishing, Bristol, 2019 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Driving an electrolyte through a corrugated nanopore

Malgaretti, P., Janssen, M., Pagonabarraga, I., Rubi, J. M.

The Journal of Chemical Physics, 151(8), American Institute of Physics, Woodbury, N.Y., 2019 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Interfaces in fluids of ionic liquid crystals

Bartsch, H.

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2019 (phdthesis)

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Spectral Content of a Single Non-Brownian Trajectory

Krapf, D., Lukat, N., Marinari, E., Metzler, R., Oshanin, G., Selhuber-Unkel, C., Squarcini, A., Stadler, L., Weiss, M., Xu, X.

Physical Review X, 9(1), American Physical Society, New York, NY, 2019 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Curvature affects electrolyte relaxation: Studies of spherical and cylindrical electrodes

Janssen, M.

Physical Review E, 100(4), American Physical Society, Melville, NY, 2019 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Birch tar production does not prove Neanderthal behavioral complexity

Schmidt, P., Blessing, M., Rageot, M., Iovita, R., Pfleging, J., Nickel, K. G., Righetti, L., Tennie, C.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), 116(36):17707-17711, 2019 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Dynamics of the critical Casimir force for a conserved order parameter after a critical quench

Gross, M., Rohwer, C. M., Dietrich, S.

Physical Review E, 100(1), American Physical Society, Melville, NY, 2019 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Interface structures in ionic liquid crystals

Bartsch, H., Bier, M., Dietrich, S.

Soft Matter, 15(20):4109-4126, Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, UK, 2019 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Interfacial premelting of ice in nano composite materials

Li, H., Bier, M., Mars, J., Weiss, H., Dippel, A., Gutowski, O., Honkimäki, V., Mezger, M.

Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 21(7):3734-3741, Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, 2019 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Connections Matter: On the Importance of Pore Percolation for Nanoporous Supercapacitors

Vasilyev, O., Kornyshev, A. A., Kondrat, S.

ACS Applied Energy Materials, 2(8):5386-5390, American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, 2019 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Theory of light-activated catalytic Janus particles

Uspal, W. E.

The Journal of Chemical Physics, 150(11), American Institute of Physics, Woodbury, N.Y., 2019 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Recovering superhydrophobicity in nanoscale and macroscale surface textures

Giacomello, A., Schimmele, L., Dietrich, S., Tasinkevych, M.

Soft Matter, 15(37):7462-7471, Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, UK, 2019 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Brownian dynamics assessment of enhanced diffusion exhibited by "fluctuating-dumbbell enzymes".

Kondrat, S., Popescu, M. N.

Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 21(35):18811-18815, Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, 2019 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]

2017


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Evaluation of High-Fidelity Simulation as a Training Tool in Transoral Robotic Surgery

Bur, A. M., Gomez, E. D., Newman, J. G., Weinstein, G. S., Bert W. O’Malley, J., Rassekh, C. H., Kuchenbecker, K. J.

Laryngoscope, 127(12):2790-2795, December 2017 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

2017


DOI [BibTex]


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Using Contact Forces and Robot Arm Accelerations to Automatically Rate Surgeon Skill at Peg Transfer

Brown, J. D., O’Brien, C. E., Leung, S. C., Dumon, K. R., Lee, D. I., Kuchenbecker, K. J.

IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, 64(9):2263-2275, September 2017 (article)

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Ungrounded Haptic Augmented Reality System for Displaying Texture and Friction

Culbertson, H., Kuchenbecker, K. J.

IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, 22(4):1839-1849, August 2017 (article)

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Perception of Force and Stiffness in the Presence of Low-Frequency Haptic Noise

Gurari, N., Okamura, A. M., Kuchenbecker, K. J.

PLoS ONE, 12(6):e0178605, June 2017 (article)

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Evaluation of a Vibrotactile Simulator for Dental Caries Detection

Kuchenbecker, K. J., Parajon, R., Maggio, M. P.

Simulation in Healthcare, 12(3):148-156, June 2017 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Importance of Matching Physical Friction, Hardness, and Texture in Creating Realistic Haptic Virtual Surfaces

Culbertson, H., Kuchenbecker, K. J.

IEEE Transactions on Haptics, 10(1):63-74, January 2017 (article)

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[BibTex]


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Effects of Grip-Force, Contact, and Acceleration Feedback on a Teleoperated Pick-and-Place Task

Khurshid, R. P., Fitter, N. T., Fedalei, E. A., Kuchenbecker, K. J.

IEEE Transactions on Haptics, 10(1):40-53, January 2017 (article)

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[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Chemically active colloids near osmotic-responsive walls with surface-chemistry gradients

Popescu, M. N., Uspal, W. E., Dietrich, S.

Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter, 29, IOP Publishing, Bristol, 2017 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]