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Konstantinos Karydis receives NSF CAREER Award on Resilient Dynamic Locomotion of Compliant/Soft Legged Robots for Precision Agriculture

Assistant Professor Konstantinos Karydis receives National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award for a project titled "CAREER: Morphological Computation for Resilient Dynamic Locomotion of Compliant Legged Robots with Application to Precision Agriculture"

The project investigates how compliance embedded into a legged robot can be harnessed to facilitate control and computation, with an eye to enabling efficient and resilient navigation in real agricultural fields.  Research activities innovate along three key foundational robotics research directions.  1) Hardware design and dynamic modeling: The project offers fundamental insights and develops models regarding the effect of various forms of compliance on center of mass motion and gait stabilization for certain classes of legged robots and introduces new hardware designs that can harness compliance and enable principles of morphological computation.  2) Locomotion control: The project establishes compliance-aware legged locomotion controllers according to principles of whole-body and central pattern generator-based control to enable efficient closed-loop legged locomotion over a range of engineered and natural unstructured terrains.  3) Non-holonomic motion planning and autonomous navigation: The project develops non-holonomic motion planners that rely upon and utilize distinctive features of robot body morphology and embedded compliance for efficiency and resilience during autonomous legged locomotion over real agricultural fields.  This research can transform the science and technology of autonomous legged robots by making them more efficient and resilient in their operation, and thus unlock legged robots’ full potential in precision agriculture.

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