Spring 2022 GRASP SFI: Youngwoon Lee, University of Southern California, “Scaling Robot Learning with Skills: Towards Furniture Assembly and Beyond”

Levine 512

Despite the recent progress in robot learning, robotics research and benchmarks today are typically confined to simple short-horizon tasks. However, tasks in our daily lives are much more complicated — consisting of multiple sub-tasks and requiring high dexterity skills — and the typical “learning from scratch” scheme is hardly scale to such complex long-horizon tasks. […]

MEAM Seminar: “Mobile Wireless Infrastructure on Demand in Robot Teams”

Towne 313 220 S. 33rd Street, Philadelphia, PA

The promise of multi-robot systems is that they can complete tasks quicker and more efficiently than a single robot. However, such performance gains are only realized if robots can communicate with each other and coordinate their actions. As on-board autonomy advances, robots are increasingly being deployed in environments without existing wireless infrastructure and must rely […]

MEAM Seminar: “Modboats: Building an Aquatic Modular Self-Reconfigurable Robotic System out of Underactuated Modules”

Towne 313 220 S. 33rd Street, Philadelphia, PA

Modular robots offer the promise of flexibility; we will be able to deploy teams of generalist modules and reconfigure them into various specialists to perform whatever task is necessary. Surface swimming aquatic modular robots in particular are not well studied, however, because the literature assumes that the modules need to be holonomic, which makes them […]

MEAM Ph.D. Thesis Defense: “The Design of a Community-Informed Socially Interactive Humanoid Robot and End-effectors for Novel Edge-Rolling”

Room 337, Towne Building 220 South 33rd Street, Philadelphia, PA

This dissertation discusses my work in building an HRI platform called Quori and my once separate now integrated work on a manipulation method that can enable robots like Quori, or any more capable robot, to move large circular cylindrical objects. Quori is a novel, affordable, socially interactive humanoid robot platform for facilitating noncontact human-robot interaction […]

MEAM Seminar: “Motion Planning for a Variable Topology Truss Robot”

Towne 313 220 S. 33rd Street, Philadelphia, PA

Variable Topology Trusses (VTTs) are a new type of modular, self-reconfigurable robot (MSRR). Like other self-reconfigurable robot systems, a VTT can change its shape to adapt to a variety of tasks, offering a wider range of capabilities than a single robot configuration. While most MSRRs consist of robot modules that are connected in a chain […]

MEAM Seminar: “Toward Agile Legged Locomotion in a Novel Quadrupedal Robot with an Axially Twisting Spine”

Towne 313 220 S. 33rd Street, Philadelphia, PA

With the advent of more capable and cheaper legged robots, robotic legged locomotion is becoming an increasingly attractive solution for locomotion and embodiment. Legs offer expanded capability over wheeled robots, albeit at the cost of complexity and efficiency. For example, walking robots explore rubble-filled caves, inspect industrial sites, move around human spaces (e.g., stairs), and […]

MEAM Seminar: “High-performance Electroadhesives for Materials and Robots with Programmable Stiffness”

Towne 313 220 S. 33rd Street, Philadelphia, PA

Materials with electroprogrammable stiffness and adhesion can enhance the performance of robotic systems but achieving large changes in stiffness and adhesive forces in real time is an ongoing challenge. Electroadhesive clutches can rapidly adhere high stiffness elements, although their low force capacities, high activation voltages, and inability to separate and turn off stiffness changes reliably […]

MEAM Seminar: “Harnessing Physical Intelligence for High-Performance Soft Robots”

Towne 227 (MEAM Conference Room) 220 S. 33rd Street, Philadelphia, PA

Different from neuron-based computational intelligence through the brain, physical intelligence leverages structural designs and smart materials to physically encode sensing, actuation, control, adaption, and decision-making into the body of an agent. The stimuli-responsive body materials can enable autonomous sensory, actuation, powering, and other physical intelligence functions. The structural designs of soft body can simplify the […]

A Celebration of the Life of Dr. Max Mintz

Wu and Chen Auditorium (Room 101), Levine Hall 3330 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA

The CIS Department and GRASP Lab invite you to please join us on Thursday, November 17th, at 3:30pm as we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Max Mintz, Professor of Computer and Information Science. Max joined Penn as an assistant professor of Systems Engineering (now part of ESE) in 1974. He changed his primary […]

MEAM Ph.D. Thesis Defense: “An Aquatic Underactuated Modular Self-Reconfigurable Robotic System for Information-Limited Navigation in Gyre-Like Flows”

Levine 307 3330 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA

Aquatic modular self-reconfigurable robotic systems (MSRRs) have incredible potential for bringing practical, flexible, and adaptable robotic tools to challenging environments. They could build mobile ocean platforms or bridges for larger vehicles, act as ocean-going manipulators to perform repairs on infrastructure, or function as oceanographic research platforms, using reconfiguration to achieve precise spatial resolution when sensing […]