Big Picture

We aim to discover fundamental principles of legged locomotion, focusing on the coordination between passive dynamics and control, and the objectives that drive them.

Low-level research goals include:

Research Approach

Our approach begins with a bio-inspired dynamic model, from which we create theoretical control strategies proven to produce the desired stable and efficient running gaits using these models. We then design robots to match these simple dynamic models as closely as possible. Finally, we create a control framework to map the control of the ideal model to the behavior of the robot, because the robot will be an imperfect representation of our model. This path from theoretical models to robotic implementation is a circular path, as we learn about engineering limitations and novel control ideas, and revise our mechanism and controllers accordingly.

Broader Impacts

Building a strong theoretical foundation for legged locomotion has a broad impact and will forever enable: