Ali Leylavi Shoushtari

He received his PhD in Biorobotics from Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa and MSc in Mechatronics from South Tehran Branch, Azad University. During his PhD he designed and developed Bio-inspired inverse kinematic algorithm for anthropomorphic robotic manipulators, and designed and developed a unified motion planning and compliance control framework for upper-arm Neuro-rehabilitation robotic task. Later on he persued research on design, fabrication and modeling or soft origami actuators at Center for Micro-BioRobotics (CMBR), IIT as a postdoctoral researcher. In 2019 he joined the Farm Tech Group at Wageningen University & Research and is currently working on soft adhesive grippers for delicate crop handling.

In the agri-food domain, fast and effective manipulation of very delicate products is a key issue that has not received much attention yet. This post-doc will design, manufacture and control an adaptive robotic gripper using soft materials, considering natural variability in food product mechanical properties e.g. shape and size. He would implement a ‘’controlled surface properties approach” and embedding a touch/pressure sensing elements in the gripper in order to achieve a safe, robust and autonomous grasping. To achieve this goal, in collaboration with Experimental Zoology Group he will take inspiration from adhesive properties as well as grasping strategies of tree frog fingertip. Moreover, in collaboration with the Group of Physical Chemistry and Soft Matter in order to develop fabrication methods for soft actuators and soft sensors. By taking advantage of learning-based control we would be able to do model-free low-level control of actuator and high-level motion planning of grasping.