Robotics Seminar Fall 2017

Tuesdays at 3-4pm, Upson 431.

Robotics Seminar is sponsored by HRG Robotics 

Fall 2017 Schedule

8/30 Ian Walker, Clemson University Continuum Robot Trunks and Tentacles

 This talk will provide an overview of research in biologically inspired continuous backbone “trunk and tentacle” continuum robots. In particular, robots inspired by octopus arms and plants (vines) will be discussed. Use of these robots for novel inspection and manipulation operations, targeted towards Aging in Place applications and Space-based operations, will be discussed.Ian Walker received the B.Sc. in Mathematics from the University of Hull, England, in 1983 and the M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 1985 and 1989. He is a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Clemson University. Professor Walker’s research focuses on research in the construction, modeling, and application of continuum robots.

9/5  Robotics Faculty Conversation on Robotics
 Round-table discussion of current topics in robotics with faculty and students.  Coffee and cookies are served.
9/12  Rob Shepherd  The Additive Manufacturing of Robots
The liquid phase processing of polymers has been used in the last 100 years to produce items that vary in size and function from buoyant boat hulls to the living hinges on tic-tac boxes. Recently, the fields of stretchable electronics and soft robotics have made significant progress in manufacturing approaches to add increased mechanical function as well as sensory feedback from the additive manufacturing of soft materials, including polymers and elastomers. This talk will be a survey of the work my research group, the Organic Robotics Laboratory, has contributed in this space. Much of the work will revolved around a 3D printing process called Projection Stereolithography. Our group leases a Carbon M1 3D printer that is available for other researchers to use, so attending this talk can also be seen as an introduction to the process and its capabilities.
9/19  Hadas Kress-Gazit  Synthesis for Robots: Guarantees and Feedback for Complex Behaviors

Getting a robot to perform a complex task, for example completing the DARPA Robotics Challenge, typically requires a team of engineers who program the robot in a time consuming and error prone process and who validate the resulting robot behavior through testing in different environments. The vision of synthesis for robotics is to bypass the manual programming and testing cycle by enabling users to provide specifications – what the robot should do – and automatically generating, from the specification, robot control that provides guarantees for the robot’s behavior.

In this talk I will describe the work done in my group towards realizing the synthesis vision. I will discuss what it means to provide guarantees for physical robots, types of feedback we can generate, specification formalisms that we use and our approach to synthesis for different robotic systems such as modular robots, soft robots and multi robot systems.

10/24 Sue Fussell, Malte Jung,
Guy Hoffman, Ross Knepper
Methods and Metrics in Human-Robot Interaction
Several faculty who study human-robot interaction present some of the best practices in HRI research.  HRI differs from many other subfields of robotics because it deals with humans.  We are limited both in our understanding of human psychology and in our ability to experiment on humans. To help audiences better appreciate HRI research presentations, this talk and discussion will cover popular approaches to conducting HRI research, including experimental methodology and useful metrics for evaluation of experiments.
11/14  Kevin O’Brien
11/21  Kirstin Petersen   Leveraging Honey Bees as Bio-Cyber Physical Systems
khp37 I will discuss ongoing (and future) work related to a new project undertaken in the CEI-lab. This involves integration of honey bees into Bio-Cyber Physical Systems. Social insects are capable of robust sustained operation in unpredictable environments far beyond what is possible with state-of-the-art artificial systems. Honey bees are the premiere agricultural pollinator bringing in over $150 billion annually. A colony causes pollination by dispatching tens of thousands of scouts and foragers to survey and sample kilometer-wide areas around their hive. Thus, the colony as a whole accumulates vast information about the local agricultural landscape, bloom and dearth — information that would be very informative if available to farmers and beekeepers.

The schedule is maintained by Jessie White ( and Ross Knepper (

Schedules for previous semesters

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