Dr Minas Liarokapis

DipEng University of Patras, MSc National Kapodistrian University of Athens, PhD National Technical University of Athens

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Doctoral Candidate - Doctor of Philosophy

Biography

Professional Experience

[02/2020 - Today]  Senior Lecturer - Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, The University of Auckland

[01/2017 - 01/2020]  Lecturer - Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, The University of Auckland

[08/2014-12/2016]  Postdoctoral Associate - Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, 
School of Engineering and Applied Science, Yale University

[07/2009-07/2014]  Research Associate - Control Systems Lab, School of Mechanical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, 

Education

2014 - PhD in Mechanical Engineering - School of Mechanical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens

2010 - MSc in Information Tech. in Medicine and Biology - Department of Informatics and Telecommunications, National Kapodistrian University of Athens

2008 - Diploma in Computer Engineering, Computer Engineering and Informatics Department, University of Patras

Research Interests

Dr. Liarokapis is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and director of the New Dexterity research group. Previously, he was a Postdoctoral Associate in the GRAB Lab at Yale University working with Prof. Aaron Dollar

He is interested in equipping robots with dexterous manipulation capabilities and enabling humans to regain their lost dexterity or augment their performance, modeling, designing and controlling new robotics and bionics hardware. He is the founder of the OpenBionics initiative and a co-founder of OpenRobotHardware and HandCorpus.

During his postdoctoral training, his research focused on hybrid schemes that combine analytical models, constrained optimization methods and machine learning techniques for simplifying robust grasping, dexterous, in-hand manipulation and haptic object identification using adaptive robot hands. During his PhD studies, he worked under the supervision of Prof. Kostas Kyriakopoulos in the Control Systems Lab and his research focused on EMG-based decoding of human motion and intention for the control of robotic and prosthetic devices in structured and dynamic environments.

Research | Current

A New Family of Adaptive Hands
Developing a new family of adaptive, intrinsically-compliant, under-actuated robot hands.

Robust Grasping
Proposing methodologies for executing robust grasping in presence of object pose uncertainties or other environmental uncertainties and disturbances (including aerial grasping).

Dexterous, In-Hand Manipulation
Developing hybrid schemes that combine numerical and learning methods for performing dexterous, in-hand manipulation with simple, adaptive robot hands. 

Single-Grasp, Model-Free Object Identification
Developing haptic object identification methodologies of minimal complexity (e.g., single-grasp, model-free).

Modelling the Post-Contact Behaviour of Adaptive Hands
Modelling the post-contact behaviour of adaptive robot hands.

Soft, Adaptive Exogloves
Analysis, modelling and development of soft, adaptive exogloves for rehabilitation and human augmentation.

Learning Schemes for EMG Based Interfaces
Formulation of advanced learning schemes for the EMG based control of robotic and prosthetic devices.

Teleoperation and Telemanipulation
Formulation of advanced teleoperation and telemanipulation schemes for robot arm hand systems.

Evaluating the Dexterity of Human and Robot Hands
Evaluating the dexterity of human and robot hands, deriving appropriate metrics for design optimization.

Reconfigurable Drones for Package Delivery
Developing a new class of reconfigurable drones for package delivery.

Teaching | Current

MECHENG736 - Biomechatronic Systems (Role: Course Coordinator & Director \ Lecturer)

Years: 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021

Description:

Explores principles, methods and techniques of Mechatronics for analyzing, modelling, designing and controlling bioinspired robotic systems and biomechatronic systems. 

Topics: 1) Introduction to Biomechatronics, 2) Biological Signals & Biosensors (e.g., EEG, EMG, ECG, Vision, Sound and haptic sensors etc.), 3) Human Motion Analysis (e.g., gait kinematics and kinetics analysis), 4) Bioinstrumentation (e.g., pneumatic muscles, IPMC, DEA, Hybrid actuators etc.), 5) Human Robot Interaction (e.g., human-robot interaction modelling, antagonistic configurations, direct force control, impedance and assist-as-needed control etc.), 6) Biomechatronic Example #1 (e.g., rehabilitation robots and assistive devices, design optimization, Integration of biosensors and actuators, interfacing issues etc.), 7) Biomechatronic Example #2 (e.g., biorobotic instrumentation, design and analysis of soft-bodied robotics).

MECHENG 201: Introduction to Mechatronics (Role: Course Director \ Lecturer Description) 

Years: 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021

Description:

Introduces mechatronics to mechanical and mechatronics engineers. Covers sensors and actuators, analogue and digital circuit elements for signal processing and programming

MECHENG730 - Advanced Biomechatronic Systems (Role: Course Coordinator & Director \ Lecturer)

Years: 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021

Description:

The advanced version of MECHENG 736.

MECHENG201 - Electronics and Computing for Mechanical Engineers (Role: Lecturer)

Years: 2017

Description: 

Mechanical engineers need to be familiar with those electronics and software elements that are now vital components of most mechanical products and processes. Introduces sensors and actuators, analogue and digital circuit elements for signal processing, and computing and software programming.

Postgraduate supervision

I have supervised to completion 2 PhD theses, 6 ME theses, 14 MEngSt projects, and the P4P of 42 undergraduate students.

Currently, I supervise 8 PhD thesis, 3 ME theses, and the P4P of 12 undergraduate students.

Alumni - PhD Students:

Lucas Gerez (2021)

Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University (USA)

Anany Dwivedi (2021)

Current Position: Postdoctoral Associate at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (Germany)

Current PhD Students:

Gal Gorjup

Geng Gao 

Yongje Kwon 

Che-Ming (Ben) Chang 

Jayden Chapman 

Nathan Elangovan 

Mojtaba Shahmohammadi 

Joao Pedro Sansao Buzzatto 

Alumni - ME Students:

Jimmy Lin (2021)

Vandna Patel (2021)

Navin Perera (2021)

Arran Davis (2020)

Helen Evans (2019)

Varatharajan Srinivasan (2019)

Current ME Students:

Alex Hayashi

Dah Young Kim

Devin Mukalanyaye Ranasinghe

Alumni - MEngSt Students

Yuran Zhou (2021)

Nigel Sim Joon Leck (2020)

Kyaw Tun Ko (2020)

Rohit Joshua Rajasekar (2020)

Harsha Thiruvengadam (2019)

Junan Chen (2018)

Waris Hasan (2018)

Alexandre Eichene (2018)

Ashkan Eslamighane (2018)

Sai Sasanka Jupalli (2018)

Chi-Hung Yang (2018)

Shivang Pathak (2017)

Brahmaji Alla Rudhra (2017)

Pratik Sankh (2017)

Distinctions/Honours

2020 - Students' Choice Top Teacher Award, Faculty of Engineering, University of Auckland.  

2020 - 1st Prize, United Cerebral Palsy Los Angeles Assistive Devices Challenge, Hackaday Prize, Online.

2020 - Finalist, Best Paper Award on Robotic Mechanisms and Design, IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Online.

2019 - 1st place of the Manufacturing track of the Robotic Grasping and Manipulation Competition of IEEE\RSJ International Conference on Robotics and Intelligent Systems (IROS) 2019 (Macau, China).

2018 - Students' Choice Top Teacher Award, Faculty of Engineering, University of Auckland.  

2017 - Sarafis Award for Best PhD Thesis, National Technical University of Athens.

2015 - 2nd Prize (out of 900+ projects from 50+ countries), Hackaday Prize, Hackaday.

2015 - Robotdalen International Innovation Award, Robotdalen.      

2013 - Thomaidion Award for Scientific Publications.  

2012 - Student Travel Award, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA).                      

2012 - Thomaidion Award for Scientific Publications.                                                          

2010 - Thomaidion Award for Scientific Publications.

Responsibilities

Part 4 Projects (Final Year Research Projects) Coordinator of  the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering (Course Coordinator & Director of MECHENG 700 A/B)

Coordinator of Field Trips, Part III Mechatronics, Dept. of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering

Postgraduate Studies Supervisor, Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering

Areas of expertise

  • Robotic and Bionic Grippers and Hands
  • Assistive and Human Augmentation Devices
  • Robot Grasping and Dexterous Manipulation
  • Analysis and Evaluation of Human and Robot Dexterity
  • Robotic Teleoperation and Telemanipulation
  • Muscle Machine Interfacing Methods
  • Human to Robot Skill Transfer 
  • Modular Reconfigurable Drones 
  • All-Terrain Robotic Vehicles
  • Machine Learning and Pattern Recognition
  • Design and Development of Mechatronic Systems
  • Humanoid Robots

Committees/Professional groups/Services

IEEE - Senior Member

IEEE Robotics and Automation Society - Senior Member

IEEE Technical Committee on Robotic Hand Grasping and Manipulation

Technical Chamber of Greece - Member

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Gorjup, G., Dwivedi, A., Elangoval, N., & Liarokapis, M. (2019). An Intuitive, Affordances Oriented Telemanipulation Framework for a Dual Robot Arm Hand System: On the Execution of Bimanual Tasks. Paper presented at IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Macau, China. 4 November - 8 November 2019. Related URL.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Anany Dwivedi
  • Dwivedi, A., Kwon, Y., McDaid, A. J., & Liarokapis, M. (2019). A Learning Scheme for EMG Based Decoding of Dexterous, In-Hand Manipulation Motions. IEEE transactions on neural systems and rehabilitation engineering : a publication of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, 27 (10), 2205-2215. 10.1109/tnsre.2019.2936622
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Anany Dwivedi, Andrew McDaid
  • Gao, G., Dwivedi, A., Elangovan, N., Cao, Y., Young, L., & Liarokapis, M. (2019). The New Dexterity Adaptive, Humanlike Robot Hand. Paper presented at 2019 International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Montreal, Canada. 20 May - 24 May 2019. IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation. Related URL.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Anany Dwivedi
  • Bewley, T., & Liarokapis, M. (2019). On the Combination of Gamification and Crowd Computation in Industrial Automation and Robotics Applications. Paper presented at 2019 International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Montreal, Canada. 20 May - 24 May 2019. IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation. Related URL.
  • Gerez, L., Chen, J., & Liarokapis, M. (2019). On the Development of Adaptive, Tendon-Driven, Wearable Exo-Gloves for Grasping Capabilities Enhancement. IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, 4 (2), 422-429. 10.1109/LRA.2019.2890853Y
  • Liarokapis, M., & Dollar, A. M. (2019). Combining Analytical Modeling and Learning to Simplify Dexterous Manipulation With Adaptive Robot Hands. IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering, 16 (3), 1361-1372. 10.1109/TASE.2018.2885801
  • Dwivedi, A., Kwon, Y., McDaid, A. J., & Liarokapis, M. (2018). EMG Based Decoding of Object Motion in Dexterous, In-Hand Manipulation Tasks. Proceedings of the IEEE RAS and EMBS International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics. 10.1109/BIOROB.2018.8487222
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Anany Dwivedi, Andrew McDaid
  • Kostakis, V., Latoufis, K., Liarokapis, M., & Bauwens, M. (2018). The convergence of digital commons with local manufacturing from a degrowth perspective: Two illustrative cases. Journal of Cleaner Production, 197, 1684-1693. 10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.09.077

Identifiers

Contact details

Alternative contact

Building 405, Room 841

Office hours

Please send me an email if you want to schedule a meeting with me. 

Primary office location

ENGINEERING BLOCK 5 - Bldg 405
Level 8, Room 841
5 GRAFTON RD
AUCKLAND CENTRAL
AUCKLAND 1010
New Zealand

Social links

Web links