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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2024
  2. The dynamic complexity of robots and mechatronic systems often pertains to the hybrid nature of dynamics, where governing equations consist of heterogenous equations that are switched depending on the state of the system. Legged robots and manipulator robots experience contact-noncontact discrete transitions, causing switching of governing equations. Analysis of these systems have been a challenge due to the lack of a global, unified model that is amenable to analysis of the global behaviors. Composition operator theory has the potential to provide a global, unified representation by converting them to linear dynamical systems in a lifted space. The current work presents a method for encoding nonlinear heterogenous dynamics into a high dimensional space of observables in the form of Koopman operator. First, a new formula is established for representing the Koopman operator in a Hilbert space by using inner products of observable functions and their composition with the governing state transition function. This formula, called Direct Encoding, allows for converting a class of heterogenous systems directly to a global, unified linear model. Unlike prevalent data-driven methods, where results can vary depending on numerical data, the proposed method is globally valid, not requiring numerical simulation of the original dynamics. A simple example validates the theoretical results, and the method is applied to a multi-cable suspension system. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 19, 2024
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2024
  4. In providing physical assistance to elderly people, ensuring cooperative behavior from the elderly persons is a critical requirement. In sit-to-stand assistance, for example, an older adult must lean forward, so that the body mass can shift towards the feet before a caregiver starts lifting the body. An experienced caregiver guides the older adult through verbal communications and physical interactions, so that the older adult may be cooperative throughout the process. This guidance is of paramount importance and is a major challenge in introducing a robotic aid to the eldercare environment. The wide-scope goal of the current work is to develop an in-telligent eldercare robot that can a) monitor the mental state of an older adult, and b) guide the older adult through an assisting procedure so that he/she can be cooperative in being assisted. The current work presents a basic modeling framework for describing a human's physical behaviors reflecting an internal mental state, and an algorithm for estimating the mental state through interactive observations. The sit-to-stand assistance problem is considered for the initial study. A simple Kalman Filter is constructed for estimating the level of cooperativeness in response to applied cues, with a thresholding scheme being used to make judgments on the cooperativeness state. 
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  5. Cells interacting over an extracellular matrix (ECM) exhibit emergent behaviors, which are often observably different from single-cell dynamics. Fibroblasts embedded in a 3-D ECM, for example, compact the surrounding gel and generate an anisotropic strain field, which cannot be observed in single cellinduced gel compaction. This emergent matrix behavior results from collective intracellular mechanical interaction and is crucial to explain the large deformations and mechanical tensions that occur during embryogenesis, tissue development and wound healing. Prediction of multi-cellular interactions entails nonlinear dynamic simulation, which is prohibitively complex to compute using first principles especially as the number of cells increase. Here, we introduce a new methodology for predicting nonlinear behaviors of multiple cells interacting mechanically through a 3D ECM. In the proposed method, we first apply Dual- Faceted Linearization to nonlinear dynamic systems describing cell/matrix behavior. Using this unique linearization method, the original nonlinear state equations can be expressed with a pair of linear dynamic equations by augmenting the independent state variables with auxiliary variables which are nonlinearly dependent on the original states. Furthermore, we can find a reduced order latent space representation of the dynamic equations by orthogonal projection onto the basis of a lower dimensional linear manifold within the augmented variable space. Once converted to latent variable equations, we superpose multiple dynamic systems to predict their collective behaviors. The method is computationally efficient and accurate as demonstrated through its application for prediction of emergent cell induced ECM compaction. 
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