Computer Science

Dr. Alfred Rizzi from Boston Dynamics to deliver public lecture on legged robotics

BigDog robot walking up a snowy hill

Dr. Alfred Rizzi, Chief Robotics Scientist at Boston Dynamics, will present a talk on "Legged Robots at Boston Dynamics" at 4pm on Friday, October 14th, in the Lee Auditorium of the Wishcamper Building on the Portland Campus. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Only about half the Earth’s landmass is accessible to wheeled and tracked vehicles, yet people and animals can go almost everywhere on foot. Our goal is to develop novel locomotion systems that can go anywhere people and animals go. The systems we build combine dynamic control systems, actuated mechanisms and sensing to travel on terrain that is too rocky, sandy, muddy, snowy, wet or steep for existing conventional vehicles. Rizzi will talk about progress at Boston Dynamics in building such systems, including BigDog, RHex, PETMAN, LS3 and others.

Al Rizzi is Chief Robotics Scientist at Boston Dynamics, a company that develops some of the world's most sophisticated dynamic robots, including BigDog, Petman, Legged Squad Support System (LS3) and others. These robots combine advanced locomotion control systems with innovative mechanical designs and are designed to enable travel on rough terrain. Prior to joining Boston Dynamics in 2006, he was an Associate Research Professor in the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University where he directed research projects focused on hybrid sensor-based control of complex and distributed dynamical systems. Highlights of these projects include the development of embedded software systems and automated behaviors for novel legged mobile robots (RiSE and RHex) as well as a modular automated assembly system (Minifactory). Dr. Rizzi received the Sc.B, degree in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1986. He received the M.S. and Ph.D. from Yale University in 1990 and 1994 respectively.

The event is sponsored by the USM Department of Computer Science and the USM College of Science, Technology, and Health.