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GRASP on Robotics: Frank L. Hammond, Georgia Institute of Technology, “The Importance of Pneumatic Actuation in Adaptive Robotic Devices”

October 22, 2021 @ 10:30 am - 11:45 am

*This will be a HYBRID Event with in-person attendance in Wu & Chen Auditorium and Virtual attendance via Zoom Webinar here


Soft pneumatic actuators have become a popular implement in modern robotic systems due to their intrinsic mechanical compliance, which affords researchers levels of robustness and adaptability that can be difficult to achieve in rigid-body, motor-driven devices. However, with the physical advantages of these versatile actuators come significant challenges in sensing, feedback control, and sustainable, portable powering that can limit their feasibility in real-world applications. This talk will highlight the engineering challenges of pneumatic actuation within the context of ongoing robotics research efforts in the ARM Lab, including the development of a soft, EMG-controlled robotic knee exoskeleton. The implications of new pneumatic actuation approaches on the future of smart, wearable human augmentation systems will also be discussed.


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Frank L. Hammond III is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech, and the director of the Adaptive Robotic Manipulation (ARM) Lab. His lab’s current research focuses on the mechanical design and control of pneumatically-actuated robotic manipulators and wearable assistive devices. He holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Drexel University, M.S. degrees in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, where his research focused on kinematically redundant robotic manipulation. He also spent time as a postdoctoral researcher at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences where he studied robotic grasping and soft robotics, and as a Shapiro postdoctoral scholar at MIT where he studied wearable devices for human augmentation. His research in the ARM Lab has been funded by the NSF, NIH, DoD, and several industry and healthcare sponsors.


October 22, 2021
10:30 am - 11:45 am
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Wu and Chen Auditorium
3330 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104