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Robotics Related

Proportional Valves for Precise Air-Mass/Air-Flow Control of Soft Pneumatic Actuators

27. May 2020

The soft robotic hands developed in our lab are pneumatically actuated. That means, by opening inflation and deflation valves in a controlled manner, we can control the enclosed air in a particular air-chamber. The valves used are so called “binary valves”, referring to the characteristic that they only can take on two different states – open/closed. This comes with a drawback. If we want to close the fingers of the hand slowly, lets say to grasp an object, we need to open-close-open-close the valves in a bang-bang controlled manner that results in jittery movements of the finger. To enable smooth and slow movements, we would need a way to regulate the air-flow that is introduced when we open the valves. Proportional valves are a way to tackle this problem. Unlike binary control valves which produce full flow when energized, proportional control valves produce pressure or flow proportional to an electrical signal. In recent years valves of this kind that satisfy our pressure-range requirements have become commercially available. more to: Proportional Valves for Precise Air-Mass/Air-Flow Control of Soft Pneumatic Actuators

Computational Biology Related

Leveraging Data from Mass Spectrometry to Improve Cross-Links

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Cross-Links are experimentally derived distance constraints that can be used to guide protein structure prediction. The current cross-linking data is obtained from multiple mass spectrometer runs and pre-filtered. In the pre-fltering step we lose a lot of information. For instance, there is ambiguity in the data that is currently handled in a greedy fashion. The idea of this project is to go one step back and look at the "raw" data from the mass spectrometry experiments. The hope is by including external information and dealing directly with the ambiguity in the data we can improve the number of cross-links and/or need fewer experiments for a similar yield. more to: Leveraging Data from Mass Spectrometry to Improve Cross-Links

Leveraging Crosslinks for Template Retrieval

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Cross-Link Mass Spectometry is an experimental technique that provides residue distance constraints on the native structure. The method has been previously used to guide ab initio protein structure prediction. You will develop in this thesis a method that leverages cross-links to find homologous structures to the target in the PDB. For that, you will compare the distance constraints provided by cross-links with simulated cross-links for the templates from the PDB. more to: Leveraging Crosslinks for Template Retrieval

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