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Projects


Control of Powered Segmented Legs for Humanoid and Rehabilitation Robotics based on Neuromechanical Models of Human Locomotion

(2012 - present)

The project goal is to transfer biomechanical design and control principles to the design and control of powered robotic legs. Leg control is crucial to the functional dexterity of legged systems from humanoid to rehabilitation robotics. We seek to develop a control approach to robotic legs that based on local reflex-control strategies of human locomotion, and to verify and demonstrate this approach with a robotic leg testbed that can rigorously characterize proposed leg designs and controls (Figure 1). The project is funded by the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research of the NIH Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute Of Child Health & Human Development.


Figure 1

Efficient, Agile and Robust 3D Bipedal Walking and Running

(2011 - present)

The project goal is to develop bipedal robots that navigate natural, uneven terrain with agility, speed and robustness to disturbances. This project is a collaboration with the groups of Jonathan Hurst (Oregon State University) and Jessy Grizzle (University of Michigan). We combine our individual expertise to follow a reproducible path from principled models of legged locomotion to robotic implementation, feedback control, and experimental verification (Figure 2). The project is funded by the DARPA Maximum Mobility and Manipulation Program.


Figure 2

For details on the current state of the bipedal robots, visit the ATRIAS project page of J Hurst's Dynamic Robotics Laboratory at Oregon State University.

Unified Model and Robotic Implementation of Bio-Inspired Walking and Running

(2011 - present)

The project's research goals are to develop and implement a biomechanically relevant, unified theory of legged dynamics that spans walking and running, and to demonstrate this theory on a bipedal robot. This project is a collaboration with the group of Jonathan Hurst (Oregon State University). This research will further principled models OF legged locomotion with human-like leg dynamics, seek general insights into the manipulation of cyclic hybrid dynamic systems for achieving different goal behaviors, and verify and demonstrate this new scientific understanding with a bipedal robot. Behavior manipulations will be approached using the influence of parameters on the shape of the Poincare map in these cyclic dynamic systems (Figure 3). Experimental verification on the robot will demonstrate and refine the theoretical progress. The project is funded by the NSF Dynamical Systems Program.


Figure 3

Automated Swing Leg Placement

(2010 - present)

The project's focus is on understanding and realizing automated swing leg placement into arbitrary target points on the ground (Figure 4), and on interpreting the identified control with human muscle reflexes. The project contributes to the broader goal of understanding the neuromuscular control of the lower limbs in human locomotion and to derive from this knowledge new approaches to controlling humanoid and prosthetic legs.  The work is currently funded by the NSF ERC on Quality of Life Technologies


Figure 4

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� H. Geyer, AUG 2012