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Doctoral Researcher Utilizes Humanoid to Study Energy Consumption of Human Joints

The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship has been awarded to Dustyn Roberts, who pursues a doctoral degree at New York University’s Polytechnic Institute. The award offers funds for research, tuition stipend for a period of three years, and development opportunities.

Vladislav Kopman received the fellowship in 2010 to continue research in the field of underwater robotic vehicles. Joo Kim, a Poly Assistant Professor at NYU guides Roberts in her research. Roberts conducts her research on humanoid robots at the Applied Dynamics and Optimization Laboratory. Through her research, Roberts tries to comprehend the amount of energy expended by the human body’s joints to carry out various assignments such as opening a door or picking up a book on a daily basis.

She utilizes a humanoid robot, DARwIn, with 23 motorized joints for her research. She also aims to develop software and hardware tools to determine the amount of mechanical energy at the joints while performing various tasks. A model of human energy consumption can be formulated by determining the amount of energy needed for completion of various tasks and the results will be useful for various applications such as the design of sports gear for injury treatment, prosthetic limb, and space exploration.

Roberts will work with co-workers at the Motion Analysis Lab at the Hospital for Special Surgery, New York as part of her fellowship to authenticate her robotic results in humans. NASA offers financial aid for the project which involves the development of a robotic hand by Roberts.

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