Vision based supervised restricted Boltzmann machine helps to actuate novel shape memory alloy accurately
Extraordinary shape recovery capabilities of shape memory alloys (SMAs) have made them a crucial building block for the development of next-generation soft robotic systems and associated cognitive robotic controllers. In this study we desired to determine whether combining video data analysis techniques with machine learning techniques could develop a computer vision based predictive system to accurately predict force generated by the movement of a SMA body that is capable of a multi-point actuation performance. We identified that rapid video capture of the bending movements of a SMA body while undergoing external electrical excitements and adapting that characterisation using computer vision approach into a machine learning model, can accurately predict the amount of actuation force generated by the body. This is a fundamental area for achieving a superior control of the actuation of SMA bodies. We demonstrate that a supervised machine learning framework trained with Restricted Boltzmann Machine (RBM) inspired features extracted from 45,000 digital thermal infrared video frames captured during excitement of various SMA shapes, is capable to estimate and predict force and stress with 93% global accuracy with very low false negatives and high level of predictive generalisation.