Announcements


Last week(s) of class

posted Nov 20, 2015, 2:35 PM by Tony Dear

Our schedule for the remainder of the semester will be as follows. Firstly, we will not hold class during the week of Thanksgiving. We of course encourage you to take the time to work on your projects. In addition, we highly recommend that you attend Chaohui Gong's defense at 2p on Mon Nov 23 in NSH 3305, as his research is quite relevant to our class material.

We will hold three class sessions on the week of Nov 30, the last academic week of the semester. Monday Nov 30 will be the last paper presentation on biological locomotion, and you will find the papers to be discussed on the website. 

Wed Dec 2 and Fri Dec 4, both going from 10:30a to 11:50a, will be the project presentations for each group. Please plan to speak for about 10-12 minutes--certainly no more than 15 including time for questions. We do not expect a 100% complete project by that time, but we are more interested in seeing interesting approaches and initial results. In terms of presentation order, we are happy to take volunteers that would like to do so on the first day (and you can let me know ahead of time), but do be ready to go on that day in case we have to start calling on groups.

The project reports, written in IEEE conference paper style, will be tentatively due the week after on Dec 11 (by email).

Class on 11/18

posted Nov 17, 2015, 8:19 AM by Tony Dear

Due to an external event, we will start class at 11am on Wednesday, 11/18. There should still be enough time for the Melli paper presentation.

Week of Nov 9

posted Nov 4, 2015, 9:56 AM by Tony Dear

Next week we will be doing short (~5 minutes) presentations of your proposed projects. The goal of this will be to get a better sense of what everyone is doing along with feedback. Feel free to use what you have written up for the abstract as well as the figures. If you have made any headway on literature searches, simulations, or hardware, feel free to talk a bit about that as well. 

Then for the remainder of the class, I will try to talk to groups individually. Depending on the nature of the project, some groups may not need much time, while others may take longer, so we'll play it by ear. It's quite likely that we will get through all the presentations and maybe half of individual group meetings on Monday. I can continue talking with those who have less urgent questions or want more time on Wednesday, or if many groups request longer periods of time, I'm also available by appointment through the week.

The paper reading schedule has also been updated through the remainder of the course.

Paper and Project Update

posted Oct 26, 2015, 10:34 AM by Tony Dear

Please plan to read the "Nonconservativity and Noncommutativity in Locomotion" for Wednesday's class. It is somewhat long, but most of the first half is mathematical background and review at this point, so you can simply scan it and just review the mathematics that you need. The bulk of the material appears in Section 5 and onward.

In our Projects Google spreadsheet, please add two links to a short abstract and a preliminary figure. The latter can be something like a model of the system that you will study, for example. We recommend that you do both using Google docs, either writing and drawing directly on Google (Documents and Drawings are handy) or uploading a file and linking it there.

For those of you who have not signed up or pinned down a project yet, please try to narrow down your ideas or talk to a group that you are interested in joining as soon as possible.

Project Sign-up Link

posted Oct 21, 2015, 12:03 PM by Tony Dear   [ updated Oct 26, 2015, 10:35 AM ]

Project sign-ups can be done via the google spreadsheet here:


Please sign up with your team members and a short title for your project. If you would like some resources or would like to set aside some time for discussing your project ideas, we would be happy to help with that as well. The idea is to gauge what you all have in mind and consolidate them into solid project topics next week.

Please also note the update to the reading schedule for the coming week. 

Next Lecture and HW 2

posted Oct 12, 2015, 1:26 PM by Tony Dear

The contents of today's lecture have been pushed back to Wednesday. The two upcoming papers (Shammas et al., Walsh and Sastry) will both be presented the following Monday. Please read both by then.

Some of you have some common questions about the homework this time around, so I will be available to answer questions tomorrow in NSH 4225 from 3-4p.

HW 2 Corrections

posted Oct 8, 2015, 7:47 AM by Tony Dear

There is a slight typo in HW 2, problem 5. The \tilde{s} should just be s--same surface, different parameterizations. The document has been updated in the homework link. Thanks to Abhishek for bringing this up.

Readings and Project

posted Oct 7, 2015, 1:35 PM by Tony Dear   [ updated Oct 7, 2015, 1:39 PM ]

Please note that our schedule has been updated again, along with the assigned reading for the coming week. The plan is for us to continue with the textbook on Monday, mostly with Chapter 4 after finishing up Chapter 3. On Wednesday we will wrap things up by filling up any remaining holes and talking about the Elie Shammas paper. Note that we will focus mainly on Sections 1-6 of the paper, but do try to read the rest of it, as we will revisit all the stuff about gaits very soon. We will also go over a couple of recurrent questions from HW 1. 

Finally, please continue brainstorming about project ideas and discussing with classmates about forming potential project groups. As was implied in class today, you are free to form groups of any size. You might look at the Papers page for project ideas, which can range all the way from biological systems to mechanical toys.

Paper for Oct. 7

posted Sep 22, 2015, 3:20 PM by Tony Dear

Please start reading Geometric Motion Planning Analysis for Two Classes of Underactuated Mechanical Systems (E. Shammas et al.) in the coming two weeks in preparation for our segway into locomotion, as noted on our schedule. We do not expect you to be able to understand everything, but it will give a good preview of some key concepts and ideas. The paper is somewhat long so please start early.

Notes and HW Update

posted Sep 16, 2015, 8:58 AM by Tony Dear

The powerpoint slides up to Chapter 2.1 are posted. The typos regarding the commutativity of group actions have been corrected in the earlier lectures (1.2 and possibly 1.3).

We have also uploaded a newer version of the text with updated reading material for next week--in general, we will be doing this periodically throughout the semester, so it would not suffice to just download the PDF once and use it from there. Please check the schedule for the reading assignment.

HW 0 was due today--please submit the online portion if you have not already. At this point, you should also be equipped to start on HW 1, which is due in two weeks.

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