1146 A.V. Williams Building
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Techno-Sciences Inc. Robotics Seminar Series
Modular and Reconfigurable Robots
University of Pennsylvania
Modular reconfigurable robots are those that can change shape by rearranging its modules to meet the demands of changing tasks and environments. For example, modules in a line can form a snake robot which is very good for search and rescue in rubble piles. A robot with many arms would be good at doing many things at once. As the numbers of modules increase to hundreds or thousands or millions, how are they built? programmed? What are the mechanical properties of large ensembles? These problems are rich in interesting problems including: stiffness modeling, distributed computation and control, modular design, reconfiguration and motion planning, motion planning, and others.
Mark Yim is a Professor in the Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics department at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to this, he was Principal Scientist at the Palo Alto Research Center (formerly Xerox PARC). His group has demonstrated modular robots that can form different shapes, jump, ride tricycles, climb stairs, poles and fences, manipulate objects and reassemble themselves after being kicked into pieces. His other research interests include product design, robotic art, modular robots that fly and swim.
Honors include the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2009 (UPenn's highest teaching honor); induction as a World Technology Network Fellow; IEEE Robotics and Automation Distinguished Lecturer; and induction to MIT's Technology Review TR100 in 1999. He has over 40 patents issued (perhaps most prominent are ones related to the Sony PS2 and Microsoft Xbox joypad vibration control which resulted in US$100,000,000 in litigation and settlements) and over 60 publications.
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