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.
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. Planning and execution is done with MoveIt, an open-source manipulator control package.
Eventually Herbie was integrated on to a mobile robot base for visual inspection of oil & gas facilities. The base robot, called Philbart, is equipped to find the source of fugitive gas emissions. Together, Herbie + Philbart = Pherbie :)
The bulk of my grad school research now centers around a novel passively-balanced manipulator, Scorpio.