Manipulator Control

I envision a future where robots can work collaboratively with humans for enhanced safety and productivity. To make this a reality, I research intuitive control systems that are adaptable to any kind of robot with a recent focus on robotic arms.

VR Control of Vaultbot

I work with many different systems, ranging from industrial manipulators usually kept in cages to collaborative robots that are designed with human interaction in mind.

The robot below, "Herbie", is a serial chain of 6 series elastic actuators with a camera at the end for inspection tasks. While another student in the Nuclear Robotics Group designed the robot, I refactored the control code to make it more modular.

Herbie moving from point to point

Note that the controller has been improved to produce much smoother motion than in the footage above. I also helped integrate Herbie on to a mobile robot base. Planning and execution is done with MoveIt, an open-source manipulator control package.

MoveIt interface with Herbie arm

The bulk of my grad school research now centers around a novel passively-balanced manipulator, Scorpio.