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On the Discretisation of Robot Actuation
Date: 2018/6/4             Browse: 36

Speaker:     Dr. Fabio Giardina. Cambridge

Time:          14:00—15:00, June 4 

Location:    Room 1A-200, SIST Building

Host:          Prof. Andre Rosendo


In an age where computers challenge the smartest human beings in cognitive tasks, the conspicuous discrepancy between robot and animal locomotion appears paradoxical. While animals can move around autonomously in complex environments, today’s robots struggle to independently operate in such surroundings. In this talk I will present the notion of discrete actuation for the systematic study of this perplexing observation. The actuation of a system with discrete actuation is restricted to be applied at a finite number of instants in time and is impulsive. We find that, despite their simplicity, such systems can predict various experimental observations and inspire novel technologies for robot design and control. Specifically, I will show under what conditions legs are better than wheels for terrestrial locomotion, how we can use angular impulses to build energy effective and robust locomotion robots, and the benefit of shape-changing feet in robots for the task of locomotion.


Dr. Fabio Giardina received his Ph.D. in engineering from the University of Cambridge, UK, in 2018 and the B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in mechanical engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, Switzerland, in 2010, and 2012, respectively. He is currently working as a Research Associate in the Machine Intelligence Group, Biologically Inspired Robotics Laboratory, University of Cambridge, U.K., and in July he will start his work as a Research Associate at Harvard University.

His research interests include discrete actuation and the effects of morphology on dynamics of robotic locomotion systems.

SIST-Seminar 18044