2164 Martin Hall (ME Seminar Room)
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Lockheed Martin Robotics Seminar Series
Bio-Inspired Reduction and Robustness of Dynamic Robot Gaits
University of California, Berkeley
Compared to robots, animals are remarkably adept at rapid locomotion on challenging terrain. Although a rich sensor suite and sophisticated neural circuitry must contribute, the skill exhibited across scale and taxa suggests there are unknown passive mechanisms contributing to performance. Multi-legged animals coordinate their limbs in unexpected ways: they effect tight synchronization that dramatically reduces their effective mechanical degrees-of-freedom; and they utilize gaits wherein multiple legs impact the terrain nearly simultaneously. Studying these puzzling phenomena, in this talk I derive new principles for model reduction and robust stability arising from the intermittent contact of limbs with terrain. Aside from providing theoretical explanations for surprising properties of animal gaits, these results suggest novel mechanisms for design of dynamically-stable robot gaits.
Sam Burden is a PhD candidate in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at UC Berkeley advised by Prof. Shankar Sastry. He is broadly interested in discovering and formalizing principles that enable dynamic locomotion and dexterous manipulation in robotics, biomechanics, and human motor control. In experimental studies with robots and animals, he adopts a comparative approach that enables demonstration and translation of these principles across scale, material, and morphology. He is a recipient of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and actively contributes to the Army Research Lab's MAST CTA.
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