Wishing good luck to our students at RoboCup@Home

Our students Minkyu, Nico and Arnau, will be competing at RoboCup@Home Domestic Standard Platform in Montreal this week along a larger team. Wishing the whole Austin Villa team best luck!


Snippets of Panel at SXSW on Mobility Beyond Wheelchairs

Here ares some snippets of a panel that PI, Dr. Sentis, moderated at SXSW 2018.

Compliments to Kwan Suk for his new Paper

This paper starts with the speculative fragment: Is it okay for robots to stop objects or other robots that could collide with people?

Compliments to Rachel and Gray for their Paper Submission

This paper discusses the coupled dynamics between series-elastic actuators and the multi-dof robotics structure followed by neat trajectory optimization to allow the robot to jump.

Compliments to Gray for his Paper Submission

To achieve full mechanical potential we must estimate non-conservative uncertainty bounds. This paper proposes a quadric inclusion formulation aimed at greatly increasing control performance of future robotic systems.


The Cloud Shared Laboratory for STEM Education

The future of STEM education is here! The University of Texas at Austin teams up with Apptronik Systems to deliver ubiquitous laboratory STEM education around the globe for all communities. How would you like to use NASA inspired actuators for the classroom anywhere and anytime?

Jack Hall Successfully Defends his PhD Thesis


Donghyun Kim Successfully Defends his PhD Thesis



PhD Dissertation on Intelligent Collision Management in Dynamic Environments for Human-Centered Robots

This thesis, written by PhD student Kwan Suk Kim posits that no matter how hard we try, collisions will always happen, and therefore we need to confront and study them both during autonomous navigation or dexterous manipulation. Chapter 5 connects to the question of whether “it is okay for robots to stop objects or other robots that are about to run into people?”

Various videos of this dissertation are shown below:

Paper on Liquid Cooled Viscoelastic Robotic Systems

Liquid Cooled Viscoelastic actuators are aimed at fielding human-centered lightweight robot structures with high payload capabilities and high mechanical robustness. This technology excels at the following five axes: energy efficiency, torque density, mechanical robustness, position and force controllability.


Congratulations to Rachel for this featured article on NASA’s website!

IJRR Paper on Theory of Dynamic Locomotion – arXiv Preprint Available

This study presents a theoretical method for planning and controlling agile bipedal locomotion based on robustly tracking a set of non-periodic keyframe states.

Kwan Suk Kim Successfully Defends his PhD Thesis

Kwan Suk, successfully defended his PhD Thesis on Intelligent Collision Management in Dynamic Environments for Human-Centered Robots. Huge Congratulations!

Steven’s summer project with NASA JSC, IHMC and U. Michigan on Intuitive Whole-Body Control of Valkyrie!

This video summarizes the deployment of applications on Valkyrie performed by Steven Jens Jorgensen from the U. of Texas at Austin and other researchers at NASA, IHMC, and U. Michigan. Given desired end-effector poses, a nonlinear optimization routine is used to solve the whole-body Inverse Kinematics (IK) of NASA’s Valkyrie robot while satisfying balance constraints. The joint position solutions are converted to the appropriate messages and are sent to IHMC’s controller interface, which interpolates between the robot’s initial (current) configuration to the desired configuration using third-order functions (polynomial for positions and a hermite curve for orientations). By specifying just the hand pose, a preliminary grasp planner uses the Whole-body IK solver to command Valkyrie’s hand to the desired pose. The Whole-body work is a collaboration between NASA and the Human-Centered Robotics Lab (HCRL) at the University of Texas at Austin. The grasp planner is from The Laboratory for Progress at the University of Michigan. This work was partially supported by a NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship (NSTRF) under the grant number NNX15AQ42H.


Behold, the Draco liquid cooled compliant robotic leg prototype

The video below shows the new Draco liquid cooled prototype leg produced as a collaboration between the Human Centered Robotics Lab and Apptronik Systems.. We have developed a new liquid cooled viscoelastic actuator capable of significantly surpassing the mechanical power of legged systems with convection cooling. The leg was presented during the Office of Naval Research S&T Expo in Washington DC.

IJRR Paper Accepted

Big congratulations to Ye for having his theoretical locomotion paper accepted!!

Y. Zhao, B. Fernandez, L. Sentis, Robust Optimal Planning and Control of Non-Periodic Bipedal Locomotion with A Centroidal Momentum Model, International Journal of Robotics Research, Accepted, July 2017