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 from NASA

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

Congrats to Students for Best Manipulation Paper Award

Congratulations to Prashant Rao from the ReNeu Lab, Gray Thomas from the Human Centered Robotics Lab, and ReNeu’s Lab PI Ashish Deshpande, for winning the IEEE ICRA 2017 Best Robotic Manipulation Paper Award!

Workshop Talk IEEE ICRA 2017

Gray, Donghyun and Luis had a blast talking about our new lab’s pet topic “Uncertainty in Human-Centered Robots” #icra2017 #singapore #marinabaysands

Abstract: Uncertainty permeates in all control approaches and significantly complicates controller design. This is specially true for human-centered robots which rely on oversimplications such as ignoring high-frequency behaviors or realtime delays to central computers. In this talk Luis will join forces with HCRL students Gray and Donghyun to present detailed mathematical work on choosing structure for measuring uncertainty in a meaningful statistical sense, motivate the nature of uncertainty in hardware systems involving high performance series elastic actuators, and devise a planning and control framework that embraces uncertainty to external disturbances via reinforcement learning of locomotion responses.

Kenan Isik Defends his PhD. Congratulations!

Welcome Toyota HSR Platform Unit #38

Look at our new robotic companion, the Toyota HSR. Fun times ahead for #RoboCup2017 #UTAustin.

image1-1 img_2685-1

Click below for some seriously fun talks in social impacts of robotics

Media from IEEE ARSO 2017 Organized by the HCRL.


RoboCup@Home 2017 – Here we Come


Snapshot XPRIZE POPSCI Interview at SXSW Cognitive Robots

PI, Luis Sentis gave a 45 minutes interview during SXSW discussing cognitive computational control and human-centered robotics. Here is a preview snapshot. The full interview will be aired later in the year by XPRIZE.