Presenter: Aaron Ames (Homepage)

Event Dates:
  Friday November 8, 2013 from 11:00am to 12:00pm

Humans have the ability to walk with deceptive ease, navigating everything from daily environments to uneven and uncertain terrain with efficiency and robustness.  Despite the simplicity with which humans appear to ambulate, locomotion is inherently complex due to highly nonlinear dynamics and forcing.  Yet there is evidence to suggest that humans utilize a hierarchical subdivision among cortical control, central pattern generators in the spinal column, and proprioceptive sensory feedback.

Presenter's Biography:

Dr. Aaron D. Ames is an Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M University with a joint appointment in Electrical & Computer Engineering.  His research interests center on robotics, nonlinear control, hybrid systems and cyber-physical systems, with special emphasis on foundational theory and experimental realization on bipedal robots.    Dr. Ames received a BS in Mechanical Engineering and a BA in Mathematics from the University of St. Thomas in 2001, and he received a MA in Mathematics and a PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences from UC Berkeley in 2006. At UC Berkeley, he was the recipient of the 2005 Leon O. Chua Award for achievement in nonlinear science and the 2006 Bernard Friedman Memorial Prize in Applied Mathematics. Dr. Ames served as a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Control and Dynamical System Department at the California Institute of Technology from 2006 to 2008.  In 2010 he received the NSF CAREER award for his research on bipedal robotic walking and its applications to prosthetic devices.  Dr. Ames is the head of the A&M Bipedal Experimental Robotics (AMBER) Lab that designs, builds and tests novel bipedal robots with the goal of achieving human-like bipedal robotic walking.

Presenter: Franz Hover (Homepage)

Event Dates:
  Friday October 25, 2013 from 11:00am to 12:00pm

Pursuit is a general class of perception and control problems defined by critical space and time scales:  a follower that cannot maintain adequate real-time performance will simply be unable to keep up.  Autonomous pursuit missions in the ocean include tracking of a marine vehicle or animal, and monitoring a large-scale ocean process like an oil plume or chemical front.  The opportunity for multi-vehicle sensing systems to contribute is clear, but wireless communication has been a perennial bottleneck that prevents truly dynamic operation.  Network-based control,

Presenter's Biography:

Franz Hover was a consultant to industry and a Principal Research Engineer at MIT before joining the MechE faculty in 2007.  His research has led to commercial development of the HAUV platform for autonomous ship hull inspection, advances in computational tools for power systems, and innovations in subsea flow control technology.  Current work focuses on the design and implementation of multi-agent ocean systems.  Professor Hover has authored or co-authored over one hundred refereed papers.  He has also supervised more than 150 undergraduate research projects, and served as advisor to the MIT Marine Robotics Team since 2004.

Presenter: Greg Gerling (Homepage)

Event Dates:
  Friday October 4, 2013 from 12:00pm to 1:30pm

* Alternate Location: IRCS Conference Room (3401 Walnut Street, 400A)*

In this talk, I will describe how our lab’s collaborative work in understanding the neurophysiological basis of touch (skin, receptors and neural coding; psychophysical limits) informs the applied design of neural sensors and human-machine interfaces, including neural prosthetics and training simulators in medical environments.

Presenter's Biography:

Gregory J. Gerling is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Systems and Information Engineering at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. He received his Ph.D. degree from the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at The University of Iowa in the Summer of 2005. Before returning to graduate school, he had industry experience in software engineering at Motorola, NASA Ames Research Center, and Rockwell Collins. His research interests are in general related to the fields of haptics, computational neuroscience, human factors and ergonomics, biomechanics, and human–machine interaction. The application of his research seeks to advance neural prosthetics, aid people whose sense of touch is deteriorating, and improve human–robot interfaces, particularly in medicine.

Presenter: Manuela Veloso (Homepage)

Event Dates:
  Friday September 13, 2013 from 11:00am to 12:00pm

We envision ubiquitous autonomous mobile robots that coexist and interact with humans while performing tasks. Such robots are still far from common, as our environments offer great challenges to robust autonomous robot perception, cognition, and action. In this talk, I present symbiotic robot autonomy in which robots are robustly autonomous in their localization and navigation, as well as handle they limitations by proactively asking for help from humans, accessing the web for missing knowledge, and coordinating with other robots.

Presenter's Biography:

Manuela M. Veloso is Herbert A. Simon Professor in the Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon University. She researches in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. She founded and directs the CORAL research laboratory, for the study of multiagent systems where agents Collaborate, Observe, Reason, Act, and Learn, Professor Veloso is IEEE Fellow, AAAS Fellow, and AAAI Fellow. She is the current President of AAAI, and the past President of RoboCup. She received the 2009 ACM/SIGART Autonomous Agents Research Award for her contributions to agents in uncertain and dynamic environments, including distributed robot localization and world modeling, strategy selection in multiagent systems in the presence of adversaries, and robot learning from demonstration. Professor Veloso and her students have worked with a variety of autonomous robots, for robot soccer, education, and service robots. See for further information, including publications.

Friday August 9, 2013

We the Geeks: “Robots” on the

Join us on Friday, August 9th, at 2:00 pm EDT for a “We the Geeks” Google+ Hangout on “Robots” – where pioneering scientists will discuss how robots can help transform everything from school classrooms to the factory floor and operating rooms to the way we explore the Solar System.

Thursday August 1, 2013

IDSA International Conference Preview: Dr. Vijay Kumar on Tiny Flying Robots and Whether or Not They're Taking Over the World - Core77

Presenter: GRASP REU Site Oral Presentations (Homepage)

Event Dates:
  Tuesday August 6, 2013 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm

* Alternate Location: Wu & Chen Auditorium (Levine 101)*

GRASP REU Site Oral Presentations
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Wu and Chen Auditorium
1:00pm - 3:00pm


Welcome by Katherine J. Kuchenbecker and Max Mintz, GRASP REU Site Co-Directors

1:00 p.m.      Mitchell Breitbart

Rising Junior in Computer Science and English at Williams College

Advised by Dr. Daniel Koditschek; mentored by Dr. Dan Guralnik

Wednesday July 25, 2012

"A Robot That Jumps, Flips, and Does Pull-ups" in Penn News

Check out the video and article here!

RHex is an all-terrain walking robot that could one day climb over rubble in a rescue mission or cross the desert with environmental sensors strapped to its back.

Pronounced “Rex,” like the over-excited puppy it resembles when it is bounding over the ground, RHex is short for “robot hexapod,” a name that stems from its six springy legs.

Presenter: Lee White (Homepage)

Event Dates:
  Thursday July 25, 2013 from 4:00pm to 6:00pm

* Alternate Location: Levine 307 (3330 Walnut Street)*

Here I present the application of three established methods for quantitatively and objectively assessing robotic surgical performance as well the development and application of a fourth. These four tools are used to assess the hypothesis that a certain surgical warm-up protocol improves performance of surgeons on a da Vinci robotic surgical system.

Presenter's Biography:

Lee Woodruff White is the first and only son of Jane Woodruff Grant and Paul Howard White. They raised him and his sister Mariah in Eugene, Oregon where he earned an International Baccalaureate Diploma at the Eugene International High School and graduated from South Eugene High School in 2004. In 2008, Lee graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Tulane University of Louisiana with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, earning Departmental Honors from the Biomedical Engineering Department. He joined the BioRobotics Laboratory where he was advised by Professor Blake Hannaford and Surgeon Thomas S. Lendvay. In 2013 he earned the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Bioengineering from the University of Washington. He will continue his education at Stanford University School of Medicine and hopes to pursue a career bridging engineering and surgery.

Sunday June 30, 2013

Team DARwIn Receives First Place at RoboCup World Championships

Team DARwIn has held true to its reputation of robotic soccer dominance, returning to the U.S. the winners of the 2013 RoboCup World Championships in the Humanoid Kid-Size League for the third straight year (not even Lebron James can say that!).