AE Seminar Series: Aaron M. Dollar, "'Mechanical Intelligence’ in Robotic Manipulation"

Thursday, March 28, 2019
3:00 p.m.
2164 Martin Hall
Ania Picard
301 405 4358

AE Seminar Series

'Mechanical Intelligence’ in Robotic Manipulation: Towards Human-level Dexterity in Robotic and Prosthetic Hands

Aaron M. Dollar
Associate Professor
Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science
Yale University  

The human hand is the pinnacle of dexterity – it has the ability to powerfully grasp a wide range of object sizes and shapes as well as delicately manipulate objects held within the fingertips. Current robotic and prosthetic systems, however, have only a fraction of that manual dexterity. My group attempts to address this gap in three main ways: examining the mechanics and design of effective hands, studying biological hand function as inspiration and performance benchmarking, and developing novel control approaches that accommodate task uncertainty. In terms of hand design, we strongly prioritize passive mechanics, including incorporating adaptive underactuated transmissions and carefully tuned compliance and seek to maximize open-loop performance while minimizing complexity. To motivate and benchmark our efforts, we are examining human hand usage during daily activities as well as quantifying functional aspects such as precision manipulation workspaces.


Derek Paley

Aaron M. Dollar is an associate professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Yale University. He earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, S.M. and Ph.D. degrees in Engineering Science at Harvard University, and was a postdoctoral associate at MIT in Health Sciences and Technology and the Media Lab. He is the recipient of a number of awards, including young investigator awards from AFOSR, DARPA, NASA, and NSF, and is the founder of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Technical Committee on Mechanisms and Design.


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