SCS Faculty Candidate

  • Gates Hillman Centers
  • ASA Conference Room 6115
  • Assistant Professor
  • Singapore University of Technology and Design

Compliant Robots: Optimal Control and Analytical Design

In recent years, there have been more robots sold than ever before. However, the success of robots is less about sales and more about innovation. Two of the key ‘innovations’ that bring human agility, performance, and efficiency to advanced robotic systems come from optimal control and compliant design. In this talk, I will present the use of optimization to tackle challenges in compliant locomotion, the control of variable stiffness robots, and the design of compliant actuators. The talk explores (i) the use of optimization to realize impedance controlled bipedal locomotion, (ii) the benefit of variable stiffness actuation to mitigate limitations of model-based optimization, and (iii) the advantage of compliant actuators to avoid part of the energy cost unavoidable in biological actuators. Finally, I will propose an approach in which robots develop controllers for robots in a somewhat analogous way as parents teach their children to master a task.

David Braun is Assistant Professor at Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). Prior to joining SUTD, he was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Edinburgh and a visiting researcher at the German Aerospace Center. He received the Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Vanderbilt University. David’s work spans fundamental aspects of dynamics, control, and design of compliant robots. He received the 2013 IEEE Transactions on Robotics King-Sun Fu Best Paper Award, was Scientific Program Co-Chair of the 2015 IEEE International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics, and is Area Chair for the 2018 Robotics: Science and Systems Conference.

Faculty Host: Hartmut Geyer (RI)

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