Dynamics, Control and Robotics

Research in dynamics includes theoretical, computational and experimental research in the general area of  dynamical systems, dynamics and vibrations, dynamics of flexible bodies, high-dimensional dynamical systems and dynamics of contact resonance atomic force microscopy (AFM).

Illustration of the compliant super-coiled polymer (SCP)-based twisted string actuator (TSA) that changes electrical resistance when in operation.

Research in control includes feedback control of fluid flows, modeling and feedback control for biological and/or robotic systems, optimal and distributed control of networked systems, fault/attack detection and adaptation in cyber-physical systems, applications of advanced control and coordination methods in manned or unmanned aerial/ground vehicles, AFMs, telescopes, bridges/buildings, structural control systems and fluid-structure-control interactions.

Block diagram for the model reference adaptive control (MRAC) with feedback linearization. For the controller, only the estimated value of Fs/KL is required. The estimation of other system parameters is not required.

Research in robotics includes bio-inspired design of control and estimation algorithms for flying and swimming robots, soft robotics (e.g., manipulators, grippers and shape-morphing devices), wearable robotics for assistance/resistance/rehabilitation, as well as synthesis, modeling, analysis of smart materials for sensing and actuating applications in soft robotics and their integration in mechatronics devices. Artificial intelligence (AI) and reinforcement learning with stochastic techniques also are investigated and used for secure path planning and execution in robotic applications which include advanced urban air mobility with vision-based navigation.

A) An anthropomorphic twisted string-actuated soft robotic gripper with tendon-based stiffening  B) A twisted string actuator-driven soft robotic manipulator C) A wearable robotic glove assists the wearer with everyday tasks  D) A compliant and lightweight wrist robotic orthosis capable of inducing three degrees of freedom (DOF) motion of the wrist E) Undergraduate researchers flying a quadrotor outside to gather sensor data for testing hypotheses about how animals integrate different sensory streams to estimate wind direction. F) Long exposure photograph of a fruit fly, illuminated by a shaft of light, tracking an odor plume upwind towards a fermenting strawberry. The zigzagging shape of the trajectory is stereotypical of plume tracking behaviors for many animals.