Towards the Robots of Science Fiction

CAM Speaker 2017 Sept 13

Speaker: Aaron Ames, California Institute of Technology (UST Alum)

Date & Time:

Wednesday, September 13, 2017
5:30 PM - 6:30 PM


3M Auditorium, Owens Science Center (OWS) 150

Abstract:   Science fiction has long promised a world of robotic possibilities: from humanoid robots in our everyday lives, to wearable robotic devices that restore and augment human capabilities, to swarms of autonomous robotic systems forming the backbone of the cities of the future, to robots enabling exploration of the cosmos.  Achieving the promise of science fiction will require imbuing machines with the dynamic locomotion behaviors that humans display with deceptive ease—navigating everything from daily environments to uneven and uncertain terrain with efficiency and robustness.  This talk will present the first steps toward achieving this goal on bipedal and humanoid robots with the result being dynamic and efficient locomotion displaying the hallmarks of natural human walking.  The translation of these ideas to robotic assistive devices along with a wide range of safety-critical systems will be demonstrated with a view toward realizing the robots of science fiction.

Biographical Information: Aaron D. Ames is the Bren Professor of Mechanical and Civil Engineering and Control and Dynamical Systems at the California Institute of Technology.   Prior to joining Caltech, he was an Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering and Electrical & Computer Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology.  Dr. Ames received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a B.A. in Mathematics from the University of St. Thomas in 2001, and he received a M.A. in Mathematics and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences from UC Berkeley in 2006.  He served as a Postdoctoral Scholar in Control and Dynamical Systems at Caltech from 2006 to 2008, and began is faculty career at Texas A&M University in 2008.  At UC Berkeley, he was the recipient of the 2005 Leon O. Chua Award for achievement in nonlinear science and the 2006 Bernard Friedman Memorial Prize in Applied Mathematics. Dr. Ames received the NSF CAREER award in 2010, and is the recipient of the 2015 Donald P. Eckman Award recognizing an outstanding young engineer in the field of automatic control.  His research interests span the areas of robotics, nonlinear control and hybrid systems, with a special focus on applications to bipedal robotic walking—both formally and through experimental validation.  His lab designs, builds and tests novel bipedal robots, humanoids and prostheses with the goal of achieving human-like bipedal robotic locomotion and translating these capabilities to robotic assistive devices.

Watch this colloquium here.

All programs offered by the University of St. Thomas shall be readily accessible to individuals with disabilities. For details, call (651) 962-6315.