Prof. Josie Hughes

CIS – “Get to know your neighbors” Seminar Series

“Improving Robot Design: Data-Driven Approaches to Design & Fabrication”

Prof. Josie Hughes, Head of the Computational Robot Design & Fabrication Lab CREATE-LAB EPFL

Monday, May 2, 2022 3:15 – 4:15pm | Hybrid 


Josie Hughes

Automating the design and creation of complex robots is challenging due to the complexity of the design search space and physical processes required.  To address this, data-driven approaches are required to understand how to design and optimize robotic structures for a given task.  This talk introduces a number of techniques and processes for the design of robots, focusing on automated design, rapid fabrication, and task-specific learning.  This includes approaches ranging from biologically inspired design, to developing terrain optimized robots by searching over 10,000s of possible designs, and exploiting simulation and modelling.  Different application scenarios for these approaches are also presented.  This includes robots for agriculture, soft swimming robots and also sensorized manipulators. The talk concludes with a vision for the future in which bespoke robots can be automatically created for a given task.

Josie Hughes recently started as an Assistant Professor at EPFL in the Institute for Mechanical Engineering where she leads the CREATE Lab.  The lab focuses on developing new methods and approaches for designing robotic technologies for applications ranging from agriculture, soft robotics and manipulation.  Prior to EPFL she previously worked as a  Post-Doctoral Research Associate in the Distributed Robotics Lab, MIT, working on computational design methods, wearable technologies and new novel robot fabrication methods.   This followed her undergraduate and PhD studies at the University of Cambridge.