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Segway Haptics

The Segway Personal Transporter (PT) is visually similar to inverted pendulum (IP) type machines and some of the techniques used to control inverted pendulum machines are applicable when controlling a Segway PT. However, the PT differs from IP machines in that there is a human in the control loop. On IP machines that carry humans, the operator is physically coupled to the machine and may control the machine through weight shifts and kinesthetic sensing. The controller must respond in a way that best accounts for the talents and limitations of humans, especially their sensing and motor control capabilities as well as the operating environment. This talk will discuss inverted pendulums and closed loop control in the context of human-machine interaction, haptics and kinesthetic communication.

Type of Seminar:
Public Seminar
Prof. John Morrell
Mechanical Engineering at Yale University
Mar 18, 2009   17:15 /

ETH Zentrum, Building ETZ, Room E 6
Contact Person:

Prof. D'Andrea
No downloadable files available.
Biographical Sketch:
Professor Morrell is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Yale University. His research is in the area of human machine interface, particularly feedback and control of machines using the kinesthetic and haptic senses. His teaching areas include mechatronics and system design where his students have build hybrid race cars, heavy lift model airplanes and human powered vehicles. Before joining the faculty at Yale, Dr. Morrell worked at Segway Inc, creators of a two-wheeled, dynamically stabilized human transporter call the Segway Human Transport (HT). Dr. Morrell was the Director of Systems Engineering for the Segway and for the past 6 years he has lead the development of many of the core technologies for the Segway HT including development of control architectures and algorithms and their implementation into production software. He has accumulated over 30 patents related to balancing transportation devices. Prior to his work on the Segway HT, Dr. Morrell worked for Dean Kamen at Deka Research and Development as the lead control engineer on the IBOT, a mobility device that allows disabled people to climb stairs and stand at eye-level by using dynamic stabilization technology. Dr. Morrell graduated from Yale in 1986 with a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering. After two years in a startup, he returned to graduate school earning a masters degree from University of Washington in 1990 and a doctorate from M.I.T in 1996.