Fall 2014 GRASP Seminar - Timothy Bretl, University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign, "Mechanics, Manipulation, And Perception Of An Elastic Rod"

Presenter: Timothy Bretl (Homepage)

Event Dates:
  Friday October 3, 2014 from 11:00am to 12:00pm

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 conditions."

Presenter's Biography:

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.