|20. November 2018
|Institut für Systemtheorie und Regelungstechnik (IST)
IST-Seminar-Raum 2.255 - Pfaffenwaldring 9 - Campus Stuttgart-Vaihingen
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In my research, I seek to systematically exploit mechanical dynamics to make future robots faster, more efficient, and more agile then today’s kinematically controlled systems. Drawing inspiration from biology and biomechanics, I design and control robots whose motion emerges in great part passively from the interaction of inertia, gravity, and elastic oscillations. Energy is stored and returned periodically in springs and other dynamic elements, and continuous motion is merely initiated and shaped through the active actuator inputs. In this context, I am particularly interested in questions of gait selection. Should a legged robot use different gaits at different desired speeds? If so, what constitutes these gaits, what causes their existence, and how do they relate to gaits observed in biology?
I study these questions in conceptual models, in hardware implementations, and through biomechanical experiments. In the long term, my research will allow the development of systems that reach and even exceed the agility of humans and animals. It will enable us to build autonomous robots that can run as fast as a cheetah and as enduring as a husky, while mastering the same terrain as a mountain goat. And it will provide us with novel designs for prosthetics, orthotics, and active exoskeletons that help restoring the locomotion skills of the disabled and can be used as training and rehabilitation devices for the injured.