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Fall 2014 GRASP Seminar – Timothy Bretl, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, “Mechanics, Manipulation, and Perception of an Elastic Rod”

October 3, 2014 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Abstract: My talk in the language of robotics:

“I will show how to establish an appropriate configuration space for
robotic manipulation of canonical ‘deformable linear objects’ like a
Kirchhoff elastic rod (e.g., a flexible wire). This result leads to
simple algorithms for manipulation and perception that are easy to
implement and that work well in practice.”

My talk in the language of mathematics:

“Any framed curve traced by a Kirchhoff elastic rod in static
equilibrium can be described as a local solution to an optimal control
problem on the special Euclidean group SE(3). By application of
Lie-Poisson reduction, I will show that the set of all normal extremals
for this problem is a smooth manifold of finite dimension that admits a
single global chart. I will also show that the subset of all local
optima is open and is locally diffeomorphic to the space of boundary


- Learn More

Timothy Bretl received his B.S. in Engineering and B.A. in Mathematics
from Swarthmore College in 1999, and his M.S. in 2000 and Ph.D. in 2005
both in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University.
Subsequently, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Computer
Science, also at Stanford University. Since 2006, he has been with the
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he is an Assistant
Professor of Aerospace Engineering and a Research Assistant Professor in
the Coordinated Science Laboratory. He received the National Science
Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Award in 2010.


October 3, 2014
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
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