Robotics, Biomechanics, and Dynamic Systems Laboratory

The Robotics, Biomechanics, and Dynamic Systems Laboratory


The papers provided here are intended only to facilitate quick dissemination of the concepts the contain. Please acquire the published version in order to see them in their final form.

Kinesin Intracellular Transport
Multiscale Modeling and Simulation
Ashley Chase Guy
There are many systems that involve dynamic behavior occurring at different time scales, or involve fast and slow dynamics. This means that portions of the system may move quickly, the high frequency vibrations of atoms for example, and other portions may move slowly, such as the gross motion of the objects composed of those atoms. These fast and slow dynamics are often caused by some disproportionality in the system. This can include a disproportionate physical size of objects, mass of different objects, and/or size of inertia and active forces acting on the system. This often occurs for systems at very small length scales, particularly the nanoscale. These systems include the motor protein shown at the left, and many other biological systems funcitioning at the cellular level. We are examining new methods of achieving fast dynamic simulation of multiscale systems.
VIDEOS   Latest videos.
Bouncing Bicycle
Hybrid Dynamic Simulation
Abhishek Chatterjee
In hybrid dynamic simulation, discrete and continuous events are combined in order to predict a system's motion. Currently this work focuses on the simulation of simultaneous impact and contact while considering energy consistency and Coulomb friction. Many different types of systems experiencing discrete events can be modeled using this approach. One of the applications for this project is analysis of simultaneous impact and contact in agile locomotion.
VIDEOS   Latest hybrid simulation videos.
Smart Bed
Smart Hospital Bed
Hard and Soft Manipulation
Tomi Esho, Regan Kubicek
This project examines hard and soft manipulation including systems that use both. The terms "hard" and "soft" refer to the rigidity of the surface used to manipulate an object. The object in this study is the human body, and the goal is to manipulate the size and duration of contact forces acting on the skin in order to prevent the formation of pressure ulcers. The outcome will be a prototype bed that can achieve a desired time history of pressure distribution across the body. Collaborators on this project are Prof. Mehrdad Nourani in the Dept. of Electrical Engineering at The University of Texas at Dallas, and Prof. Deborah Behan in the School of Nursing at The University of Texas at Arlingtion.
Rasoul Yousefi, S. Ostadabbas, M. Faezipour, Mehrdad Nourani, V. Ng, Lakshman S. Tamil, Alan Bowling, Deborah Behan, and M. Pompeo. A smart bed platform for monitoring & ulcer prevention. In Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on BioMedical Engineering and Informatics (BMEI), October 15-17, 2011. Donghua University, Shanghai, China. Accepted for publication.
The latest hexapod.
Design of Agile Legged Robots
Abhishek Chatterjee
This project involves the development of new design methodologies for producing agile legged locomotion systems. Legged systems utilize contact and impact forces in order to locomote through the environment. One goal of this work is to develop a performance analysis which includes these forces and tells how well a legged system can utilize ground contact to accelerate itself. This analysis will form the basis for new design methodologies. A key element in this type of performance-based design is that the performance is described in terms of functions which are nonlinear in the variables of interest particularly configuration variables. Statistical optimization techniques are being explored which can address these nonlinearities allowing one to quantify performance over the robot's workspace without exhaustive sampling of the configuration space.
VIDEOS   Videos of the new leg design jumping.
Zeno by Hanson Robokind
Motion Control for Agile Legged Robots
Abhishek Chatterjee
This project involves the development of methodologies for autonomously producing stable periodic and nonperiodic motions for legged robots. The periodic motions are often referred to as gait motions while the aperiodic motions are referred to as agile motions. In both cases, the goal is to generate these motions autonomously without the use of motion primitives or any other predefined motions. The effort is to identify general motion principles for legged locomotion, from examination of the equations of motion, upon which a control algorithm can be based. This work also involves studying the integration and fusion of sensor information in order to provide adequate feedback to the control for producing stable locomotion.
VIDEOS   Agile locomotion of a planar quadruped.
PDF Yanto Go, Xiaolei Yin, and Alan Bowling. Navigability of multi-legged robots. IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, vol. 11, no. 1, pages 1-8, February 2006.
PDF Sean Harmeyer and Alan Bowling. Autonomous gait generation using acceleration capability analysis. Proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), vol. 3, pages 2127-2133, August 2-6, 2005. Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Mouse Embryo Fibroblast
Cellular Locomotion
Ashley Chase Guy
This project involves the development of a model of fibroblast locomotion through a matrix of collagen fibers. These cells can secrete collagen fibers as well as adhere to them. They can the create a fiber matrix, locomote through it, and compact it. These functions are critical in wound healing which is the subject of this work. The model being developed consists of a collagen fiber matrix along with the cell.
VIDEOS   Preliminary development of planar collagen fiber matrix.
Data Center Computer Rack
Dynamic Thermal Management and Controls in an Energy Efficient Data Center
The goal of this project is to develop control strategies for reducing energy usage in data centers. These strategies are based on redistributing computational loads and active cooling within the center to minimize energy usage. Data centers use approximately 2% of the power generated in the United States so it is worthwhile endeavor to improve their efficiency. This project is a collaboration with Prof. Dereje Agonafer in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington, Prof. Bahgat Sammakia in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at SUNY Binghampton University, and several industry partners. This is one of the projects comprising the broader NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center for Energy-Efficient Electronic Systems initiative.
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Two-DOF Robot Arm
Robotic Manipulator Design and Control
Here robotic manipulator dynamics are studied. This mainly involves characterizing the force and acceleration capabilities of robotic manipulators. These capabilities refer to a manipulator's ability to accelerate its end-effector and to apply forces to the environment at the end-effector. These abilities determine a mechanism's ability to manipulate grasped and non-grasped objects. Performance measures and design methodologies based on this characterization are also developed.
Cable-Driven Leg.
Performance Analysis of Flexible Systems
In this work, the effect on performance resulting from the mass properties of flexible components in a robotic system is studied. Cable-driven robotic manipulators are of particular interest here, with a goal of determining the conditions under which the cables will yield. These conditions impose a limit on the performance of the system and this project is concerned with determining those limitations. The long term goal is to incorporate other sources of flexibilities into the analysis such as link and joint flexibilities.
VIDEOS   Videos of the new leg design jumping.
PDF Xiaolei Yin and Alan Bowling. Dynamic performance limitations due to yielding in cable-driven robotic manipulators. ASME Journal of Mechanical Design, vol. 128, no. 1, pages 311-318, January 2006.
HERACLEIA Human-Centered Computing Lab
Assisted Living Apartment
Performance Analysis and Simulation of Assistive Living Systems
Quality-of-life can be enhanced if people can retain most of their independence as they get older. However, many elderly people need some assistance in order to live, for the most part, on their own. These types of systems involve monitoring elements, and can also involve response elements. The monitoring element attempts to analyze the patient's motion and behavior in order to determine whether an intervention is required. If required, the system can notify a monitor that assistance is needed, or robots can be used to respond in certain situations. Current work in this area involves developing a simulation and analysis tool to aid in the development of this type of an assistive living system. This work involves the formulation of a performance analysis which allows the system to predict injury. It also involves the development of a simulation for this type of system. A third aspect involves the development of robots to aid in the responding in those situations where they can have a positive impact on the situation.
Alan Bowling and Fillia Makedon. Cognitive optimization in assistive living system development. Applied Bionics and Biomechanics, vol. 9, no. 1, pages 1-14, March 2012.
Alan Bowling and Eric Olson. Human-robot team dynamic performance in assisted living environments. Proceedings of the International Conference on Pervasive Technologies Related to Assistive Environments (PETRA), June 9-13, 2009, Corfu, Greece.
Alan Bowling, Zhengyi Le, and Fillia Makedon. SAL: A simulation and analysis tool for assistive living environments. Proceedings of the International Conference on Pervasive Technologies Related to Assistive Environments (PETRA), June 9-13, 2009, Corfu, Greece.

R.O.V.E.R. Society
Students design and build a mars rover which they teleoperate from a remotely located base station. This year we will be competing in the University Rover Challenge held at the Mars Desert Research Station in Hanksville, Utah from June 2-4. This is a fun and exciting competition. Learn more about it at URC.
2015 Rover Team.
Out in the Utah desert.
Rover up on Blocks.
Isaiah looking thoughtful.

Alan Bowling
Graduate Research Assistants
Abhishek Chatterjee PhD ME
Ashley Chase Guy PhD ME
Vatsal Joshi PhD ME
Gurashish Singh MS ME
Undergraduate Research Assistants
Brian Bray BS ME
Iretomiwa (Tomi) Esho BS ME
Regan Kubicek BS ME
The links to personal web pages are provided as a courtesy to lab members. Any opinions expressed on a personal page are solely those of its author and do not necessarily reflect the views of any other lab member, including faculty.
Message for Prospective Students (undergraduate and graduate)


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10/6/16-Group dinner at Prince Lebanese, Arlington, Texas. LtoR: Alan Bowling, Abhishek Chatterjee, Ashley Chase Guy.
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8/24/15-Group dinner at Chili's in Arlington, Texas. LtoR: Pranav Parikh, Abhishek Chatterjee, Alan Bowling, Ashley Chase Guy, Darpan Pol, Nachiket Kansara.
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8/12/14-Group dinner at Chili's in Arlington, Texas. LtoR: A. Chase Guy, Abhishek Chatterjee, Pranav Parikh, Rohit Katti, Alan Bowling, Amit Kumbhar, Nachiket Kansara, Yatish Nagaraj.
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5/6/14-Group dinner at BJ's in Arlington, Texas. LtoR: Rohit Katti, Nachiket Kansara, Abhishek Chatterjee, Adrian Rodriguez, Mahdi Haghshenas-Jaryani, Blesson Isaac, Alan Bowling, Pranav Parikh, Yatish Nagaraj, A. Chase Guy.
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8/29/13-Group dinner at Chili's in Arlington, Texas. LtoR, Back: Mahdi Haghshenas-Jaryani, Alan Bowling. Front: Chase Guy, Blesson Isaac, Anudeep Palanki, Shamali Vardhmane, Adrian Rodriguez, Sarvenaz Ghaffari.
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8/14/12-Group dinner at Chili's in Arlington, Texas. LtoR, Back: Alan Bowling, Mahdi Haghshenas-Jaryani, Zachary Brush. Middle: Parvati Aruna Kandala, Adrian Rodriguez. Front: Anudeep Palanki, Nguyen Tran.
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8/7/11-Group dinner at Pappadeaux in Arlington, Texas. LtoR, Back: Alan Bowling, Middle: Daniel Montrallo Flickinger, Adrian Rodriguez, Tapas Dey, Mahdi Haghshenas-Jaryani, James Drake, Front: Parvati Aruna Kandala.
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8/24/10-Group dinner at Pappadeaux in Arlington, Texas. LtoR, Back: Drew Morgan, Middle: Parvati Aruna Kandala, Nesreen Alsmadi, Daniel Montrallo Flickinger, Alan Bowling, Mahdi Haghshenas-Jaryani, Front: Michael Tadros, Adrian Rodriguez, Srider Thirupachoor Comerica.
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7/25/09-Group dinner at Pappadeaux in Arlington, Texas. LtoR, Shih-Chein (George) Teng, Alan Bowling, Daniel Montrallo Flickinger, Oriana Flickinger (Honorary), Ryan Robertson, Salvador (Chava) Jimenez.
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7/16/09-Entertainment at banquet dinner, AIM'09 in Singapore.

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last updated May 30, 2017