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Fall 2023 GRASP on Robotics: Nick Gravish, University of California, San Diego, “Adaptive robots through reconfiguration, compliance, and contact”

October 27 at 10:30 AM - 11:45 AM

This is a hybrid event with in-person attendance in Wu and Chen and virtual attendance on Zoom.


Recent advances in robot materials and algorithms have enabled new levels of adaptive and versatile behavior. In this talk I will describe my lab’s efforts to create robots, mechanisms, and control algorithms capable of adaptive behaviors in response to perturbations from the environment or body morphology. I will first describe how the modulation of material curvature can enable reconfigurable robot appendages and bodies, culminating in new modes of robot manipulation and locomotion. Next, I will describe our work on flapping wing actuation through bioinspired autonomous oscillators with adaptive and responsive dynamics. Lastly, I will describe how to design adaptive proprioceptive feedback laws which can enable robot groups to synchronize locomotion purely through contact interactions. In total this work illustrates how simple mechanisms and algorithms can give rise to a rich design space for dynamic and responsive robots.

Nick Gravish

University of California, San Diego

Nick Gravish is an associate professor in the Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering department and a faculty member in the Contextual Robotics Institute. Dr. Gravish received his PhD from Georgia Tech in 2013, and was postdoctoral fellow at Harvard from 2013-2016 supported by a James S. McDonnell fellowship in complex systems science. His research focuses on bio-inspiration, biomechanics, and robotics, towards the development of new locomotion systems. Recent awards include the NSF CAREER award and an NSF EFRI on soft robotics.


October 27
10:30 AM - 11:45 AM
Event Category:


General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) Lab
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Wu and Chen Auditorium (Room 101), Levine Hall
3330 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104 United States
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