Carnegie Mellon University

Advanced Search   
  Look in
       Title    Full-text
  Date Range
RI Seminar: Sangbae Kim
Learning from biology : actuation, structure and control of the MIT cheetah robot

Sangbae Kim
Assistant Professor, MIT

October 04, 2013, 3:30-4:30PM, NSH 1305

Play Video

In designing a new generation of legged robots, it is critical to understand the design principles employed by animals. One of the key steps to successful development of such bio-inspired robots is to systematically extract relevant biological principles, rather than direct copying features of an animal solution, which may be impossible to realize or irrelevant in engineering domain. The talk will introduce several examples that successfully implement bio-inspired design principles learned from animals. Our highlighting example is the development of the MIT Cheetah, currently running at 13.5mph with an locomotion efficiency rivaling animals. The research thrusts of the MIT Cheetah include optimum actuator design, biotensegrity structure design, and the momentum balancing control architecture for a fast and stable gallop. Each research component is guided by the biomechanics studies of runners such as dogs and cheetahs capable of fast traverse on rough and unstructured terrains. Through this project, we seek to derive design principles of quadrupedal locomotion that share characteristics with available mechanical and electrical capabilities in order to develop most efficient, robust robots, which will be part of our life in the future.

This will be videotaped

Additional Information

Host: Steve Collins

Appointments: Stephanie Matvey (

Speaker Biography

Sangbae Kim has served as an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT since 2009. As the director of the Biomimetic Robotics Laboratory, Sangbae has been developing bio-inspired robotic design processes. His design approaches focus on the design principles from complex biological systems from understanding the difference between biological and engineering requirements. Kim’s achievement on bio-inspired robot development includes the world‘s first directional adhesive inspired from gecko lizards, and a climbing robot, Stickybot, that utilizes the directional adhesives to climb smooth surfaces. Stickybot was featured as one of the best inventions of 2006 by TIME, and the papers on Stickybot won the best student paper award at IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation and Transactions on Robotics. He is one of the recipients of DARPA Young Faculty Award in 2013.