Disputation: Tønnes Frostad Nygaard

Doctoral candidate Tønnes Frostad Nygaard at the Department of Informatics, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, is defending the thesis Legging it: An Evolutionary Approach to Morphological Adaptation for a Real-World Quadruped Robot  for the degree of Philosophiae Doctor.

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The PhD defence and trial lecture are fully digital and streamed using Zoom. The host of the session will moderate the technicalities while the chair of the defence will moderate the disputation.


Ex auditorio questions: the chair of the defence will invite the audience to ask ex auditorio questions. This can be requested by clicking 'Participants -> Raise hand'. 


Trial lecture


"Achieving shape change in emerging robot hardware: tensegrity structures, liquid/foam metals, and/or metamaterials"


Main research findings

Robots are used in increasingly complex environments and are expected to be able to adapt to changes and unexpected events. For legged robots, this has traditionally been solved by adjusting how the robot walks, but researchers are looking for new ways for robots to adapt as their environments’ variation and difficulty increase. The body of a robot has generally been designed with a specific environment and task in mind, but instead enabling a robot to change the shape of its body during operation could increase performance and expand the number of potential operating environments. Adapting the body of a physical legged robot has not been investigated previously due to the challenges of developing and maintaining such a robot.

Nygaard’s dissertation presents a custom four-legged robot with the ability to change the length of its legs during operation. The robot's walking and body shape are optimized through evolutionary computation, and the techniques are evaluated both in the lab and outdoors on various terrains. Adaptation of a robot’s physical body is shown to be feasible and has significant benefits compared to prevailing technology and methods.

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Contact information to Department: Pernille Adine Nordby 

Publisert 8. okt. 2020 12:48 - Sist endret 20. okt. 2020 11:59