Designing Robots that Assemble and Adapt

What happens when you send a rolling robot out for a mission, and it turns out they need legs instead?


Often, the time, cost, required tooling, and technical expertise associated with the design and fabrication of mechanical components often inhibit the prototyping of robots. To address this issue, we have developed BigANT -- a robot with chasis built from less than $20!

Facing the Unknown, with Robots

Is there anyway we can prepare to face the unknown? Can we develop robots that are fluid in function?

Hands-On Robotics

Robots are real, physical devices. The theory is there because generations of engineers have discovered that the quantitative modeling and control of robots requires this theory. Of course they may have been wrong; there may be a better way; a more innovative way. When building physical devices, the final arbiter of correctness is success at performing the desired task, together with the accumulation of knowledge that allows us to do even better next time.
This philosophy is the core of Hands-On Robotics.

From running roaches to robots

U-M engineers are analyzing the reflexes of cockroaches to aid in developing steadier robots. Professor Shai Revzen is recording the reaction of running cockroaches being shoved sideways, discovering that their body kicks in before their dawdling nervous system can tell it what to do. These new insights on how biological systems stabilize could one day help engineers design steadier robots and improve doctors' understanding of human gait abnormalities.