Upwardly Mobile-Mechanical Engineering - Carnegie Mellon University

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Upwardly Mobile

Koushil Sreenath Brings His Running, Flying Robotics Technologies to MechE

Assistant Professor Koushil Sreenath is the newest faculty member in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, bringing with him a range of exciting robotics innovations. With a courtesy appointment in the Robotics Institute, Sreenath has developed control algorithms that make robots walk, run, and fly — opening up a new world of unexpected applications.

Sreenath’s research focuses on designing next-generation robotics controllers that allow for robustly stable, energy-efficient, and fast locomotion over unstructured terrain.  His bipedal robot MABEL set a world record for running speed.  Another current area of focus is developing flying robots that mimic not only the natural movements of birds of prey, but also the grasping and releasing movements of their claws — enabling them to pick up and deliver physical objects.

“An initial application for these flying robots might be replacing conventional modes of delivery in Third World countries, where road access is not reliable,” says Sreenath. “But in the future, they could also help manage First World problems such as traffic and highway construction projects. One day, when you place an order from Amazon, it might be delivered in a very unexpected way.”

“I am delighted to join the Department of Mechanical Engineering, which is the best place to realize my dream of developing the next generation of dynamic robots,” says Sreenath. “Carnegie Mellon is a globally recognized center for robotics innovations, attracting world-class faculty, researchers, and grad students who can partner with me. Here in MechE, Professors Metin Sitti and Steve Collins have already established themselves as global robotics leaders. I am happy to be their colleague and, hopefully, a future collaborator with them.”