/H. Benjamin Brown

H. Benjamin Brown

Portrait of H. Benjamin Brown
Project Scientist
Office: 4631 Newell-Simon Hall
Phone: (412) 268-7658
Personal Homepage
Associated Labs: CREATE: Community Robotics, Education and Technology Empowerment, Biorobotics Lab, Microdynamic Systems Laboratory

Mailing Address

To be agile and efficient, robots–like humans and other biological machines–must operate in a dynamic regime; that is, where inertial forces and often elastic effects are significant. While robots–especially mobile robots–have been treated largely as quasistatic machines, my interest is in the dynamic effects that enable high performance, and possibly new and interesting behaviors.

I am currently involved in a number of research areas that reflect these interests:

Gyrover is a novel concept we are developing for a single-wheel robot that uses an on-board gyroscope for mechanical stabilization and steering control. Gyrover behaves much like a wheel rolling freely down a hill, but has the ability to steer itself, and stand in place. It can travel at high speed, and has good stability on rough terrain. The large rolling diameter and single track provide good obstacle avoidance and climbing, and minimize sensitivity to attitude disturbances. A third-generation Gyrover (7 kg., 40 cm diameter) is now in operation, and we are developing a control system for low-level functions using on-board computing and sensing.

Legged locomotion: While legged robots have long held promise for mobility greater than wheeled or tracked vehicles, most implementations have been complex, fragile and inefficient. We are addressing these issues with the development of a new elastic leg concept that is simple, lightweight, rugged and efficient. The leg can store elastic energy adequate for vertical jumps of a several meters, and can return about 80% or the energy from one step to the next. The concept is being tested on a 3 kg. planar hopping machine that can operate for 30 minutes on a small battery pack. Beyond the present planning and control work aimed at tasks such as negotiating randomly placed stepping stones and jumping over large obstacles, we plan to develop a self-contained, 3D version that uses human supervision for effective and efficient locomotion over real-world terrains.

Millibots are small semi-autonomous and autonomous robots to be deployed by a larger robot or field agent. Current Millibot modules include processing units, motor controllers, sensors, pan/tilt platforms, RF link transceivers. My particular interest is in developing trains of Millibots that can travel over very rugged terrain, then split up to perform their individual tasks. Challenges include small, high-torque actuators and mechanisms for coupling the modules.

Snakes: Snake-like robots are advantageous for maneuvering in congested areas, and also have unusual potential for locomotion. For example, a high-degree-of-freedom manipulator resembling an elephant’s trunk can wind its way into pipes or around obstacles, carrying end-effectors, or camera or other sensors, into areas not accessible to conventional robots. As locomotors, snakes can travel through very small openings, yet their length allows them to negotiate substantial obstacles. We are developing compact joint/link modules for 3D snake robots in manipulation and locomotion applications.

Minifactory is a concept for a compact and easily reconfigurable assembly system for short-run production of high-precision devices (disk drives, cameras, etc.). Minifactory employs Sawyer motors (X-Y linear motors floating on an air film) to carry products around the factory and position them under precision assembly robots and other processing stations. A key component of the system is the 2-DOF (Z/Theta) overhead manipulator which needs high resolution and repeatability in X-Y (micrometer level); good speed (less than 1 second cycle times with 125 mm, 180 degree travel); and precise Z-force control for assembly. Preliminary testing of the first unit of the second-generation prototype indicates it will achieve the speed requirements and repeatability near the 1 micrometer goal.

Displaying 52 Publications
Design and architecture of the unified modular snake robot
Cornell Wright III, Austin Buchan, H. Benjamin Brown, Jason Geist, Michael Schwerin, David Rollinson, Matthew Tesch and Howie Choset

Conference Paper, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, May, 2012
A Robot Supervision Architecture for Safe and Efficient Space Exploration and Operation
Ehud Halberstam, Luis Ernesto Navarro-Serment, Ronald Conescu, Sandra Mau, Gregg Podnar, Alan D. Guisewite, H. Benjamin Brown, Alberto Elfes, John M. Dolan and Marcel Bergerman

Conference Paper, Tenth Biennial International Conference on Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Challenging Environments: Earth & Space 2006 Conference, March, 2006
A Robot Supervision Architecture for Safe and Efficient Space Exploration and Operation
Ehud Halberstam, Luis Ernesto Navarro-Serment, Ronald Conescu, Sandra Mau, Gregg Podnar, Alan D. Guisewite, H. Benjamin Brown, Alberto Elfes, John M. Dolan and Marcel Bergerman

Miscellaneous, Carnegie Mellon University, PowerPoint Presentation at the Earth & Space 2006 Conference, March, 2006
Human Telesupervision of a Fleet of Autonomous Robots for Safe and Efficient Space Exploration
Gregg Podnar, John M. Dolan, Alberto Elfes, Marcel Bergerman, H. Benjamin Brown and Alan D. Guisewite

Conference Paper, Proceedings of the 1st Annual Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, March, 2006
A mobile hyper redundant mechanism for search and rescue tasks
Alon Wolf, H. Benjamin Brown, Randy Casciola, Albert Costa, Michael Schwerin, E. Shamas and Howie Choset

Conference Paper, Proceedings of the 2003 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, Vol. 3, pp. 2889 - 2895, October, 2003
New Joint Design for Three-dimensional Hyper Redundant Robots
Elie A. Shammas, Alon Wolf, H. Benjamin Brown and Howie Choset

Conference Paper, Proceedings of the 2003 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems. (IROS '03), Vol. 4, pp. 3594 - 3599, October, 2003
Millibot trains for enhanced mobility
H. Benjamin Brown, J Michael Vandeweghe, Curt Bererton and Pradeep Khosla

Journal Article, Carnegie Mellon University, IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, Vol. 7, No. 4, pp. 452 - 461, December, 2002
Millibot Trains for Enhanced Mobility
H. Benjamin Brown, J. Michael VANDE WEGHE, Curt A. BERERTON and Pradeep K. KHOSLA

Journal Article, Carnegie Mellon University, IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, Vol. 7, No. 4, pp. 452-461, December, 2002
RHex: A Biologically Inspired Hexapod Runner
R. Altendorfer, E. Z. Moore, H. Komsuoglu, Martin Buehler, H. Benjamin Brown, D. McMordie, Uluc Saranli, R. Full and D. E. Koditschek

Journal Article, Carnegie Mellon University, Autonomous Robots, Vol. 11, pp. 207 - 213, November, 2001
A precision manipulator module for assembly in a minifactory environment
H. Benjamin Brown, Patrick Muir, Alfred Rizzi, M.C. Sensi and Ralph Hollis

Conference Paper, Proceedings of the 2001 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS '01), Vol. 2, pp. 1030 - 1035, January, 2001
Evidence for Spring Loaded Inverted Pendulum Running in a Hexapod Robot
R. Altendorfer, Uluc Saranli, H. Komsuoglu, D.E. Koditschek, H. Benjamin Brown, Martin Buehler, N. Moore, D. McMordie and R. Full

Book Section/Chapter, Experimental Robotics VII, pp. 291 - 302, January, 2001
Evidence for Spring Loaded Inverted Pendulum Running in a Hexapod Robot
H. Komsuoglu, R. Altendorfer, Uluc Saranli, D. Koditschek, H. Benjamin Brown, Martin Buehler, M. N. Moore, D.McMordie and R. Full

Conference Paper, Proc. of the ISER '00 Seventh International Symposium on Experimental Robotics, December, 2000
Control of the Gyrover: a single-wheel gyroscopically stabilized robot
Enrique Ferreira, Shu-Jen Tsai, Chris Paredis and H. Benjamin Brown

Journal Article, Carnegie Mellon University, Advanced Robotics, Vol. 14, No. 6, pp. 459 - 475, June, 2000
Dynamic mobility with single-wheel configuration
Yangsheng Xu, H. Benjamin Brown and Kwok Wai Au

Conference Paper, International Journal of Robotics Research, Vol. 18, No. 7, pp. 728 - 738, July, 1999
Analysis of actuation and dynamic balancing for a single-wheel robot
Yangsheng Xu, Kwok Wai Au, G. C. Nandy and H. Benjamin Brown

Conference Paper, Intelligent Robots and Systems, Vol. 3, pp. 1789 -1794, October, 1998
Control of a Bow Leg Hopping Robot
Garth Zeglin and H. Benjamin Brown

Conference Paper, Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, May, 1998
The bow leg hopping robot
H. Benjamin Brown and Garth Zeglin

Conference Paper, Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, May, 1998
A single-wheel, gyroscopically stabilized robot
H. Benjamin Brown and Yangsheng Xu

Journal Article, IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine, Vol. 4, No. 3, pp. 39-44, September, 1997
A rapidly deployable manipulator system
Chris Paredis, H. Benjamin Brown and Pradeep Khosla

Conference Paper, Proceedings of the 1996 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Vol. 2, pp. 1434 - 1439, April, 1996
A separable combination of wheeled rover and arm mechanism: (DM)2.
Yangsheng Xu, Christopher Lee and H. Benjamin Brown

Conference Paper, 1996 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Vol. 3, pp. 2383-2388, April, 1996
A single wheel, gyroscopically stabilized robot
H. Benjamin Brown and Yangsheng Xu

Conference Paper, Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Vol. 4, pp. 3658-3663, April, 1996
A Rapidly Deployable Manipulator System
Chris Paredis, H. Benjamin Brown, R.W. Casciola, James E. Moody and Pradeep Khosla

Conference Paper, Workshop on Some Critical Issues in Robotics, October, 1995
Control Systems of the Self-Mobile Space Manipulator
Yangsheng Xu, H. Benjamin Brown, Mark Friedman and Takeo Kanade

Journal Article, IEEE Trans. on Control Systems Technology, Vol. 2, No. 3, pp. 207-219, September, 1994
A Novel Gravity Compensation System for Space Robots
H. Benjamin Brown and John M. Dolan

Conference Paper, Proceedings of the ASCE Specialty Conference on Robotics for Challenging Environments (Space94), pp. 250-258, February, 1994
A space station robot walker and its shared-control software
Yangsheng Xu and H. Benjamin Brown

Conference Paper, Proceedings of the AIAA/NASA Conference on Intelligent Robots, Vol. 1, pp. 123-130, January, 1994
Dual-use Mobile Detachable Manipulator–DM^2
Yangsheng Xu, Jie Yang, Shigeru Aoki and H. Benjamin Brown

Conference Paper, Proceedings of the IEEE International Symposium on Intelligent Control, pp. 255-260, January, 1994
Mobility and manipulation of a light-weight space robot
Yangsheng Xu, H. Benjamin Brown, Shigeru Aoki and Takeo Kanade

Journal Article, Journal of Robotics and Autonomous Systems, Vol. 13, January, 1994
Control of flexible arms with friction in the joints
V. Feliu, K. Rattan and H. Benjamin Brown

Journal Article, IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation, Vol. 9, No. 4, pp. 467 - 475, August, 1993
Manipulation and mobility of a light-weight space robot
Yangsheng Xu, H. Benjamin Brown, Shigeru Aoki and Takeo Kanade

Conference Paper, Proceedings of the 1992 lEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS '92), Vol. 1, July, 1992
Control system of Self-Mobile Space Manipulator
Yangsheng Xu, H. Benjamin Brown, M. Friedman and Takeo Kanade

Conference Paper, Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA '92), Vol. 1, pp. 866 - 871, May, 1992
Modeling and Control of Single-Link Flexible Arms with Lumped Masses
V. Feliu, K.S. Rattan and H. Benjamin Brown

Journal Article, Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement, and Control, Vol. 114, pp. 59 - 70, March, 1992
Design and control of a two-degree-of-freedom lightweight flexible arm
V. Feliu, K.S. Rattan and H. Benjamin Brown

Conference Paper, Proceedings of the 30th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, Vol. 2, pp. 1391 - 1395, December, 1991
Development of a 5-DOF walking robot for Space Station application: overview
H. Benjamin Brown, M.B. Friedman and Takeo Kanade

Conference Paper, Proceedings of the 1990 IEEE International Conference on Systems Engineering, pp. 194 - 197, August, 1990
On Control and Planning of a Space Station Robot Walker
H. Ueno, Yangsheng Xu, H. Benjamin Brown, M. Ueno and Takeo Kanade

Conference Paper, Proceedings of the 1990 IEEE International Conference on Systems Engineering, pp. 220 - 223, August, 1990
Tip position control of flexible arms using a control law partitioning scheme
K.S. Rattan, V. Feliu and H. Benjamin Brown

Conference Paper, Proceedings of the 1990 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA '90), Vol. 3, pp. 1803 - 1808, May, 1990
Adaptive control of a single-link flexible manipulator
V. Feliu, K.S. Rattan and H. Benjamin Brown

Journal Article, IEEE Control Systems Magazine, Vol. 10, No. 2, pp. 29 - 33, February, 1990
Self Mobile Space Manipulator Project
H. Benjamin Brown, Mark Friedman, Takeo Kanade and Yangsheng Xu

Miscellaneous, Annual Research Review, pp. 66-77, January, 1990
A New Approach to Control Single-Link Flexible Arms, Part II: Control of the Tip Position in the Presence of Joint Friction
V. Feliu, K. S. Rattan and H. Benjamin Brown

Tech. Report, CMU-RI-TR-89-14, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, July, 1989
Design and Control of a Two-Degree-of-Freedom Lightweight Flexible Arm
V. Feliu, H. Benjamin Brown and K. S. Rattan

Tech. Report, CMU-RI-TR-89-21, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, July, 1989
Adaptive control of a single-link flexible manipulator in the presence of joint friction and load changes
V. Feliu, K.S. Rattan and H. Benjamin Brown

Conference Paper, Proceedings of the 1989 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA '89), Vol. 2, pp. 1036 - 1041, May, 1989
A New Approach to Control Single-Link Flexible Arms
V. Feliu, K. S. Rattan and H. Benjamin Brown

Tech. Report, CMU-RI-TR-89-08, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, March, 1989
Identification and control of a single-link flexible manipulator
K.S. Rattan, V. Feliu and H. Benjamin Brown

Conference Paper, Proceedings of the 27th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, Vol. 3, pp. 2278 - 2279, December, 1988
Running on Four Legs As Though They Were One
M.H. Raibert, M. Chepponis and H. Benjamin Brown

Journal Article, IEEE Journal of Robotics and Automation, Vol. RA-2, No. 2, pp. 70 - 82, June, 1986
Legs That Deform Elastically
H. Benjamin Brown and M.H. Raibert

Conference Paper, Proceedings of RoManSy'86: Theory and Practice of Robots and Manipulators, January, 1986
3D Balance Using 2D Algorithms?
M.H. Raibert, H. Benjamin Brown and S.S. Murthy

Conference Paper, First International Symposiun of Robotics Research, pp. 279-301, January, 1984
Experiments in Balance With a 2D One-Legged Hopping Machine
M.H. Raibert and H. Benjamin Brown

Journal Article, ASME Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement, and Control, Vol. 106, pp. 75-81, January, 1984
Experiments in Balance With a 3D One-Legged Hopping Machine
M.H. Raibert, M.A. Chepponis and H. Benjamin Brown

Journal Article, International Journal of Robotics Research, Vol. 3, pp. 75-92, January, 1984
Dynamically Stable Legged Locomotion Progress Report: October 1982 – October 1983
Marc H. Raibert, H. Benjamin Brown, Michael Chepponis, Eugene Hastings, Jeff Koechling, Karl N. Murphy, Seshashayee S. Murthy and Anthony (Tony) Stentz

Tech. Report, CMU-RI-TR-83-20, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, December, 1983
Dynamically Stable Legged Locomotion: Second Report to DARPA, October 1,1981 – December 31,1982
Marc Raibert, H. Benjamin Brown, Michael A. Chepponis, Eugene F. Hastings, Sesh Murthy and Frank C. Wimberly

Tech. Report, CMU-RI-TR-83-01, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, January, 1983
Dynamically Stable Legged Locomotion
Marc Raibert, H. Benjamin Brown, Michael Chepponis, Eugene Hastings, Steven Shreve and Frank C. Wimberly

Tech. Report, CMU-RI-TR-81-09, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, November, 1981
Model Applications by a Consulting Engineering Firm
H. Benjamin Brown and J.R. Verna

Conference Paper, Scale Models in Engineering and Design: the Next Ten, American Engineering Model Society, May, 1980
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