Modular leg-wheel hybrid
Purpose: This robot can be reconfigured with either a leg, wheel, or nothing attached as each of its six limbs. It is a platform for my modular design and control learning research. This video shows a modular control policy that has learned to control twelve different designs.
My role: I designed and assembled this robot, with onboard computation and SLAM, and have used it for hardware experiments in some of my publications.
Purpose: My current research focuses on how to automatically synthesize the robot design and robot controllers for modular robots. This robot serves as a test-bed for modular locomotion. The "robots in a box" allows for a large number of designs to be constructed from a small number of modules contained in a portable case.
My role: I programmed the control software that automatically recognizes the robot's current design, and allows joystick teleoperation of a variety of modular designs.
Wearable Collaborative Arms
Purpose: Give the user a helping hand with light-weight, human-friendly, wearable robot arms. Serves as a platform for modular robot design synthesis research and human-robot interaction research. One of the arms (left) pushes upwards to hold a part in place while the wearer affixes it with both hands. The other (right) provides active stabilization to the wearer rather than requiring the user to use one of their hands to hold on for balance.
Outcomes: This robot was part of my 2018 Robotics and Automation Letters publication, and has been featured in TechCrunch.
My role: I invented, designed, built, programmed, maintain, and demonstrate this platform. A recent Masters in Robotic Systems Development student group used this robot as the basis for their capstone project, adding computer vision and voice recognition. Their capstone demo was featured briefly on local news.
Purpose: This is a modular legged robot built with the Hebi X-series modules, used as a research platform for mobility and simultaneous localization and mapping research.
My role: I maintained this robot, and have operated it at public demonstrations. I also put the arm on its back.
Purpose: “Snake monster” is a modular legged robot built with the series-elastic actuated modules, along with any static links, grippers, cameras, feet, or other modules attached to a central chassis, either with tethered or battery power. Snake monster can walk over rough terrain and can be rapidly reconfigured to use different number of limbs, claws, sensors, or payloads, depending on the application. This could make it useful in the future as a rapid response tool for search and rescue, or for remotely inspecting or repairing infrastructure in hazardous environments like defunct nuclear power plants.
Outcomes: This robot has been used with anywhere between two and twelve limbs, for a wide range of research topics including gait generation, compliant control, mobile manipulation, reinforcement learning, and mobile perception. It was demonstrated at the DARPA robotics challenge, and since then at a variety of other events around the country.
My role: I maintained this robot and used it for research in gait generation, compliant control, mobile manipulation.
Fun facts: We gave this robot piggyback rides by having it cling to my waist and shoulders.
Series-Elastic Actuated Snake Robot ("SEA-Snake")
Purpose: Series-elastic actuated snake robot (SEA-snake) is a modular snake robot composed of any number of modules arranged in a chain. The head typically carries a sensor package including a camera with LED lights.
Outcomes: This robot is used for research projects on compliant control and mobility, especially in unstructured terrain or confined spaces. Its two-inch diameter profile, and ability to wrap around poles, allows it to move through both the outsides and insides of pipe networks.
My role: I maintained this robot from 2012-2021 and used it for research in compliant control.
Unified Snake Robot ("U-Snake")
Purpose: The Biorobotics Laboratory at Carnegie Mellon University has developed snake robots over the past 20 years. Snake-like robots can access confined spaces due to their narrow diameter, yet can also traverse a wide range of terrain challenges including climbing trees or poles, piles of rubble, stairs, or flat open regions. The lab iterated on designs to produce a model called the unified snake robot or ``U-snake'' for short. In its 16-module configuration it is approximately three feet long and two inches in diameter. The robot's head module contains a camera and LEDs. The tail module connects the robot to its power and communications tether.
Outcomes: The U-snake has been deployed in scenarios including for search and rescue training, nuclear inspection, and archaeology. The robot has also been used for biology and bio-inspired engineering research. Our favorite demonstration of the U-snake’s abilities is to climb up a person’s leg. Over the years the robot has climbed many people’s legs, including politicians, CEOs, and on live TV, Jimmy Fallon’s leg.
My role: I have demonstrated this robot at various robotics, outreach, and political events. I traveled with two other lab members to deploy this robot in a collapsed building after an earthquake in Mexico City in Sept. 2017.
Purpose: This robot positions a camera or other sensor package confined spaces for inspection tasks. It can be easily attached to other robots.
My role: I programmed its controls and maintained it during demonstrations.
Purpose: Arm that used air suction to move mis-sorted color balls into sorted bins. Overhead and eye-in-hand camera with cloud-based data collection. Final project for class “Robotic Systems and Internet of Things.”
My role: I constructed the robot and its environment, and programmed the arm motion planning and computer vision for the eye-in-hand camera.
Hydraulic human-scale biped
Purpose: Research hydraulic technology, including actuators, valves, and humanoid gaits under the supervision of Cornell University's Prof. Ephrahim Garica as part of the M3 Walking Machine project.
Outcomes: This robot and its associated test beds resulted in publications, and a demonstration at the DARPA robotics challenge exhibition track.
My role: Designed and built the treadmill and tether system, and a testbed for variable recruitment hydraulic muscles. Assembled and programmed a single limb testbed.