Mechanical Engineering

MechE Seminar: Cheetah-Inspired Robot Tails and Kalman Filtering for Hybrid Systems

April 23, 2021

1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.


Join Aaron Johnson, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at CMU, for a presentation of two recent results from the Robomechanics Lab at CMU, one in the area of robot design and the other in control and state estimation.

The first project is inspired by the incredible agility of cheetahs and their tails. Unlike past robotic tails, the cheetah tail uses aerodynamic drag to help with highacceleration behaviors. Based on this the team built and tested an aerodynamic robot tail which can improve the agility of a legged robot.

The second project considers the question of how to estimate the state of a robot that is making and breaking contact with the world. Impact is inherently discontinuous, and so classical approaches like Kalman filtering do not work. In this work, we present the Salted Kalman Filter that can propagate state uncertainty through these transitions and provide state estimation for hybrid dynamical systems.

This presentation will be recorded on Zoom.
Meeting ID: 938 4920 5646.
Passcode: 342431


Aaron M. Johnson received the B.S. degree in electrical and computer engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 2008 and the Ph.D. degree in electrical and systems engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 2014. He is currently an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, with appointments in the Robotics Institute and the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. He was previously a postdoctoral fellow at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pennsylvania. His research interests include legged locomotion, hybrid dynamical systems, robust control, and bioinspired robotics. Johnson received the NSF CAREER award in 2020 and the ARO Young Investigator Award in 2018.