Robotics

 
Photo of Jonathan Hurst with a walking robot
Natural Walking and Running with Robotic Systems (Overview slide)
Jonthan Hurst

Mobility in human and unstructured environments is a key challenge that must be addressed before autonomous systems can achieve their full potential in the physical world. Legged locomotion can solve this problem. The Dynamic Robotics Laboratory seeks to discover fundamental principles of legged locomotion, and demonstrate them with walking and running robots. The long-term goal is to meet or exceed the agility, energy economy, and robustness of walking and running animals.

 
Photo of a robot helping to do a task
Human-Robot Interaction and the Internet of Assistive Things (Video) (Overview slide)
Bill Smart

The Personal Robotics Laboratory has been looking make assistive robots and internet-enabled devices practically useful for persons with severe motor disabilities, such as quadriplegia and ALS. We have been looking at context-sensitive interfaces, projected directly into the world, that enable persons with very limited movement to regain control over their environments, and interact easily, and intuitively with the infrastructure around them, either through a sophisticated mobile manipulation robot, or through internet-enabled household devices.

 
Graphic illustrating different kinds of assistive devices people can wear
Soft Robotics, Bioinspired Robotics (Overview slide)
Yigit Menguc

Using biological inspiration, Yigit Menguc designs mechanisms that are as soft as skin and muscle, then manufactures them with techniques in 3D printing, laser machining, and soft lithography. Two classes of instruments that he has invented so far are controllable gecko-inspired adhesives and soft wearable sensors.