Robotics Events Calendar

Event Information

Robotics Graduate Student Seminars: David Ma and Simpson Chen
Thursday, April 28, 2016
4:00 p.m.
2460 AV Williams (new location)
For More Information:
Yezhou Yang
301 405 4358

Robotics Graduate Student Seminars

Dynamics and Scaling of Magnetically Folding Multi-Material Structures

David Ma

Advisor: Prof. Sarah Bergbreiter


This work presents a method for folding 3D structures from planar microfabricated components using magnetics and an initial impulsive force. A scaling analysis demonstrates that magnetic folding can be particularly favorable at small scales and this analysis is validated through both a dynamic simulation and experimental results. Experimental results are provided by three planar-fabricated, multi-material, fold-up cubes at three different length scales (down to 1.25 mm). The three cubes folded using this method demonstrate behavior consistent with derived scaling properties, but the dynamic simulation model was deemed insufficient to capture specific details of the cubes’ behavior.

Electroadhesive Feet for Turning Control in Legged Robots

Simpson Chen

Advisor: Prof. Sarah Bergbreiter


Turning in small legged robots often require extra actuators and mechanisms which consume energy and increase weight. Controllable friction on the feet of underactuated legged robots can provide extra degrees of freedom for dynamic turning. Here, we present preliminary results demonstrating that low voltage (200 V) electroadhesives can be adapted onto a small off-the-shelf legged robot's feet for dynamic turning. It was shown that by changing the voltage, friction can be modulated to obtain different turning radii. A turning radius of 4 cm (half the robot's body length) was achieved by applying 120 V. However, it was also shown that the current electroadhesive designs are susceptible to scratches and wrinkles which decreases their performance after multiple runs.

About the Robotics Graduate Student Seminars

The Robotics Graduate Student Seminars at the University of Maryland College Park are a student-run series of talks given by current graduate students.

The purpose of these talks is to: 

  • Encourage interaction between Robotics students from different subfields;
  • Provide an opportunity for Robotics students to be aware of and possibly get involved in the research their peers are conducting;
  • Provide an opportunity for Robotics students to receive feedback on their current research;
  • Provide speaking opportunities for Robotics students.


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