My interests lie in miniature robotic systems. Previously, I've worked on flapping-wing micro aerial vehicles, inspired by hummingbirds, bees, and flies. My most recent work focuses on small, soft robots with the aim of creating a closed, inflated system independent of external pumps
PhD: Robotics, Carnegie Mellon University, USA, 2014
MS: Robotics, Carnegie Mellon University, USA, 2011
BS: Mechanical Engineering (B.S.), Applied Mathematics (B.A.), University of St. Thomas, MN, 2008
This review comprises a detailed survey of ongoing methodologies for soft actuators, highlighting approaches suitable for nanometer- to centimeter-scale robotic applications. Soft robots present a special design challenge in that their actuation and sensing mechanisms are often highly integrated with the robot body and overall functionality. When less than a centimeter, they belong to an even more special subcategory of robots or devices, in that they often lack on-board power, sensing, computation, and control. Soft, active materials are particularly well suited for this task, with a wide range of stimulants and a number of impressive examples, demonstrating large deformations, high motion complexities, and varied multifunctionality. Recent research includes both the development of new materials and composites, as well as novel implementations leveraging the unique properties of soft materials.
Advanced Materials, 28(19):3690-3696, March 2016 (article)
Most soft robotic systems are currently dependent on bulky compressors or pumps. A soft actuation method is presented combining hyperelastic membranes and dielectric elastomer actuators to switch between stable deformations of sealed chambers. This method is capable of large repeatable deformations, and has a number of stable states proportional to the number of actuatable membranes in the chamber.
In Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2015 IEEE International Conference on, pages: 5838-5845, May 2015 (inproceedings)
In this work, we examine two design modifications to a tethered motor-driven flapping-wing system. Previously, we had demonstrated a simple mechanism utilizing a linear transmission for resonant operation and direct drive of the wing flapping angle for control. The initial two-wing system had a weight of 2.7 grams and a maximum lift-to-weight ratio of 1.4. While capable of vertical takeoff, in open-loop flight it demonstrated instability and pitch oscillations at the wing flapping frequency, leading to flight times of only a few wing strokes. Here the effect of vertical wing offset as well as an alternative multi-wing layout is investigated and experimentally tested with newly constructed prototypes. With only a change in vertical wing offset, stable open-loop flight of the two-wing flapping system is shown to be theoretically possible, but difficult to achieve with our current design and operating parameters. Both of the new two and four-wing systems, however, prove capable of flying to the end of the tether, with the four-wing system prototype eliminating disruptive wing beat oscillations.
Our goal is to understand the principles of Perception, Action and Learning in autonomous systems that successfully interact with complex environments and to use this understanding to design future systems