Christian Ott won a project grant from the European Commission for his legged robotics project application for NatDyReL (Utilizing Natural Dynamics for Reliable Legged Locomotion) on November 29, 2018.
NatDyReL is researching the principles for a novel generation of humanoid walking robots based on intrinsically elastic drives. The DLR legged robotics group can draw on many years of experience with torque-controlled robots, such as the humanoid robot TORO. In contrast to the now refined technology of torque-controlled drives, the robots developed in NatDyReL will enable active adaptation of dynamic drive characteristics (e.g., stiffness & damping). This allows the robot to adapt its dynamic behavior to the current ground conditions or the desired running speed at runtime. Furthermore, some of the kinetic energy can be stored in each step in the elastic drives enabling energy-efficient execution of dynamic running movements. In order to successfully implement these concepts in practice, it is necessary to take full account of the compliant drive dynamics in the planning of the total body movement as well as in the real-time control. The project thus requires close interdisciplinary cooperation between experts from different disciplines, in particular from robotics, control engineering and mechatronics.
ERC Consolidator Grants are awarded to outstanding researchers who have seven to twelve years of post-doctoral experience and excellent scientific achievements. The research must be conducted in a public or private research facility in one of the EU Member States or associated countries. The funding will be provided for up to five years and will essentially involve the employment of researchers and other staff to consolidate the fellows’ teams.
Christian Ott has been head of the Department of Analysis and Control of Advanced Robotic Systems since 2014. He has worked at DLR with interruptions since 2001. From 2007 until 2009 he was a project assistant professor at the University of Tokyo in Japan.