Broad Area Colloquium For AI-Geometry-Graphics-Robotics-Vision
(CS 528)

Motion Planning for Underactuated Mechanical Systems

Kevin Lynch
Mechanical Engineering Department
Northwestern University Monday, Nov. 24, 2003, 4:15PM
TCSeq 200


We are studying "underactuated" robot systems --- robot systems with fewer actuators than degrees-of-freedom to be controlled. Examples include ground, space, and underwater vehicles, robot arms with flexibility or passive joints, and many robot manipulation tasks.

This talk will focus on our recent work on trajectory planning for a class of underactuated mechanical systems called "kinematically controllable" systems. I will describe this new notion of controllability for second-order mechanical control systems, demonstrate how this property simplifies the motion planning problem, and present implementations of the theory on an underactuated robot arm and an underactuated ground vehicle.

About the Speaker

Kevin Lynch received a BSE in electrical engineering from Princeton University in 1989 and a Ph.D. in robotics from Carnegie Mellon in 1996. He then spent a year and a half as a postdoctoral fellow at the Mechanical Engineering Laboratory in Tsukuba, Japan, where he also taught at the University of Tsukuba. Since 1997 he has been with the Mechanical Engineering Department at Northwestern University. He is the founder of the Midwest Mechanical Motion Meeting (M4) and the recipient of the 2001 IEEE Early Academic Career Award in Robotics and Automation.


Back to the Colloquium Page