Professor: Kevin Lynch
We are interested in developing robust control and planning strategies for the dynamic locomotion of hybrid mechanical systems. We are in particular interested in studying the dynamic motion of an underactuated climbing robot known as the Gibbot. The Gibbot is a brachiating robot similar to the brachiating robot built by Saito and Fukuda, but our goal is to extend the results of Gomes and Ruina , who discovered that it is theoretically possible to brachiate forever by finding solutions that conserve energy after impact. We plan on extending these neutrally stable zero-energy loss solutions into stable solutions. This has led us down an interesting path, where we have found many interesting parallels between our brachiator’s passive dynamics when it has zero actuation and the passive dynamic walker originally pioneered by McGeer .
 Swing and locomotion control for a two-link brachiation robot. F. Saito, T. Fukuda, and F. Arai. IEEE Controls Systems Magazine, 14(1): 5-12, February 1994.
 A five-link 2D brachiating ape model with life-like zero-energy-cost motions. M. Gomes and A. Ruina. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 237(3): 265-278, December 2005.
 Passive Dynamic Walking. T. McGeer. International Journal of Robotics Research, 9(2): 62-82, April 1990.