Legged robots show great promise in areas where other robotic platforms struggle, like cluttered natural or indoor environments. Novel robot morphology developed in concert with control can improve robot performance in metrics like speed, efficiency, or power to enable legged robots to go where no robots currently operate. This talk will discuss work in design and control of legged robots in two thrusts: achieving novel performance and operating in unconventional environments.
First, this talk will present the development of the small jumping robot Salto-1P. Salto-1P achieved unparalleled jumping performance and demonstrated the first robotic wall jump, precise control to traverse obstacles much larger than the robot’s size, onboard estimation and control for autonomous and outdoor operation, and balanced launching and pinpoint landing.
Since robot performance is most useful when it enables new capabilities in challenging environments, ongoing work investigates the challenges of moving over and around plants: leaping among tree branches, and walking through undergrowth and vines. The talk will close with teaching interests, DEI efforts, and future research directions.
Justin Yim is a postdoctoral researcher with Aaron Johnson's Robomechanics Lab in the Mechanical Engineering department at Carnegie Mellon University supported by the Computing Resources Association and Computing Community Consortium CIFellows 2020 postdoctoral fellowship. He received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley and his B.S.E. and M.S.E. from the University of Pennsylvania. His research interests are in the design and control of legged robots to improve performance and understand locomotion principles. For his dissertation work developing the jumping monopod robot Salto-1P, he received best paper and best student paper awards at the IEEE/RSJ IROS and IEEE ICRA conferences. A strong believer in STEM outreach, he has organized outreach lessons in partnership with multiple nonprofits reaching thousands of K-12 students. He has also served as an organizer for the R:SS conference Inclusion@RSS program and the CMU ME DEI subcommittee on mentorship.