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  • Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering Seminar

    Wed, Oct 11, 2017 @ 03:30 PM - 04:30 PM

    Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars

    Speaker: Mark R. Cutkosky, Fletcher Jones Professor, Stanford University

    Talk Title: Bioinspired Robots: Embracing the Environment

    Abstract: As we bring robots out of the laboratory and into the world, one of the most important lessons we can learn from nature is how to exploit interactions with materials and surfaces in the environment. Examples of robots that need to take advantage of surface interactions include multimodal flying/climbing robots, microtugs, and free-flying robots that grasp objects using gecko-inspired adhesives. These robots use specialized materials and mechanisms to manage interactions with the surfaces they contact. In each case dynamic models and tests lead to computed "envelopes" of conditions for which the robot is expected to perform reliably - for example, to latch onto a surface without slipping or bouncing off. As contact takes place the dynamics are typically fast, so passive properties of mechanisms are more effective than closed-loop control to dissipate energy, distribute forces and stabilize the robot. Nature offers many examples of structures and functional materials that help to manage these interactions. Investigations of surface interactions also allow us to discover new opportunities for synergy when combining multiple locomotion modes (e.g., flying and climbing). Here again, we find parallels in nature.

    Biography: Mark R. Cutkosky is the Fletcher Jones Professor in the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. He joined Stanford in 1985, after working in the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University and as a design engineer at ALCOA, in Pittsburgh, PA. He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 1985.

    Cutkosky's research activities include robotic manipulation and tactile sensing and the design and fabrication of biologically inspired robots. He has graduated over 47 Ph.D. students and published extensively in these areas. He consults with companies on robotics and human/computer interaction devices and holds several patents on related technologies. His work has been featured in Discover magazine, The New York Times, National Geographic, Time magazine and other publications and has appeared on PBS NOVA, CBS Evening News, and other popular media.
    Cutkosky's awards include a Fulbright Faculty Chair (Italy 2002), Fletcher Jones and Charles M. Pigott Chairs at Stanford University, an NSF Presidential Young Investigator award and Times Magazine Best Innovations (2006) for the Stickybot gecko-inspired robot. He is a fellow of ASME and IEEE and a member of Sigma Xi. Cutkosky's laboratory and research can be found at http://bdml.stanford.edu.

    Host: Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering

    Location: Seaver Science Library (SSL) - 150

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Ashleen Knutsen

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