Robots for Physical Interaction

Abstract– While robots dominates repetitive labors in factories, the design and controller of these robots are not suitable for relatively complex tasks that humans do easily. These tasks typically require intricate interaction force control on impacts and rich physical interactions such as walking, grinding, and manipulating non-rigid objects. Conventional robots are not built to control force or being flexible to perform like human arms. The talk will discuss how the new design paradigm allows such dynamic interactive force control with environments. Demonstrating the effect of using employing robot design paradigm, the latest version of cheetah robot and force feedback teleoperation arms will be presented. This new class of robots will play a crucial role in future robot applications such as elderly care, home service, delivery, and services in unfavorable environments for human.

Headshot-279x300Prof. Sangbae Kim, is the director of the Biomimetic Robotics Laboratory and an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT. His research focuses on the bio-inspired robot design by extracting principles from animals. Kim’s achievements on bio-inspired robot development include the world’s first directional adhesive inspired from gecko lizards, and a climbing robot, Stickybot, that utilizes the directional adhesives to climb smooth surfaces featured in TIME’s best inventions in 2006. Recent achievement includes the development of the MIT Cheetah capable of stable outdoor running up to 13mph and autonomous jumping over an obstacles at an efficiency of animals. This achievement was covered by more than 300 media articles. He is a recipient of best paper award from International Conference on Robotics and Automation (2007), King-Sun Fu Memorial Transactions on Robotics (2008) and IEEE/ASME transactions on mechatronics (2016), DARPA Young Faculty Award (2013), NSF CAREER award (2014), and Ruth and Joel Spira Award for Distinguished Teaching (2015).