Lockheed Martin Robotics Seminar: Jeff Trinkle, "Robotic Systems Performing Contact Tasks"
Friday, October 3, 2014
2168 AV Williams Building
Lockheed Martin Robotics Seminar Series
Analysis and Simulation for Robotic Systems Performing Contact Tasks: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
National Robotics Initiative and Robust Intelligence
Information and Intelligent Systems Division
Computer and Information Science and Engineering
National Science Foundation
Director of the CS Robotics Lab
Department of Computer Science
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
One of the main weaknesses of intelligent robotic and automation systems today is their inability to reason generally about contact. This prevents them from planning and performing grasping, dexterous manipulation, and assembly operations in unstructured environments such as homes. In manufacturing settings, robotic workcells are typically highly structured with tight tolerances, so much so, that these "flexible" workcells have little flexibility despite high implementation costs. These two issues alone present significant drag on the growth of robotics-related industries and the penetration of intelligent systems into small and medium enterprises.
In this talk, I will present a basic mathematical model for multibody systems experiencing intermittent contact and discuss my experience with it in solving a range of problems from planning dexterous manipulation to the design of plate motions for vibratory manipulation. As will be seen, the main strength of simulation-based approaches are that they can yield solutions when human intuition completely fails and they can provide better solutions by considering possibilities outside of the designer's "comfort zone."
Jeffrey C. Trinkle received his bachelor's degrees in Physics (1979) and Engineering Science and Mechanics (1979) from Ursinus College and Georgia Institute of Technology, respectively. After two years in the Fiber Compsites Research Group at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, he enrolled at the Univeristy of Pennsylvania, and received his PhD in Systems Engineering in 1987. Since then, he has held faculty positions in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Wollongong in Australia, Systems and Industrial Engineering at the University of Arizona, and the Department of Computer Science at Texas A&M University. From 1998 to 2003, he was a research scientist in the Center for Robotics and Intelligent Systems at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque New Mexico. From 2003 to 2009, he was Professor and Chair of Computer Science at Rensselear Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. In 2009, he received a Humboldt Research Prize for his work on multibody dynamics and manipulation, and spent at year in Munich Germany, splitting his time between the Institute for Robotics and Mechatronics at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the Center for Applied Mechanics at the Technical Univeristy of Munich. In 2010, he became a fellow of the IEEE for his contributions to robotic grasping and dexterous manipulation. Since January of 2014, Prof. Trinkle has been serving as a Program Officer at the National Science Foundation with primary responsibility for the National Robotics Initiative.