Bipedal Locomotion is a Hybrid Nonlinear Control Problem

October 13, 2011, ESB 1001

Jessy Grizzle


It is estimated that 70% of the earth's landmass is inaccessible to wheeled or tracked vehicles. This has stimulated interest in the design of robots that use legs as a means of locomotion. With legs, robots can step over obstacles or use sparse footholds (as in ladders). This presentation will show how nonlinear control methods are enhancing the ability to design robots that walk and run on two legs, under a feedback control system that provides dynamic balance, yielding a much more human-like motion than the plodding gaits achieved in most existing robots. The work addresses both theoretical and experimental aspects of bipedal locomotion.

Speaker's Bio

Jessy W. Grizzle is the Jerry and Carol Levin Professor of Engineering at the University of Michigan. His primary research interests lie in nonlinear control, with a firm commitment to demonstrating the power of theoretical results in practical applications. His work on emissions reduction in passenger vehicles through improved control system design has been recognized with sixteen patents, a best paper award, and the IEEE CSS Technology Award. His work on bipedal robots received the Axelby Award in 2002, and has been featured in The Economist, Wired Magazine, Discover Magazine, Scientific American and most recently on ESPN and CNN.