Center for Applied Mathematics Colloquium

Andy Borum Cornell University
Manipulation and mechanics of thin deformable objects

Friday, January 25, 2019 - 3:30pm
Rhodes 655

Abstract: This talk is about robotic manipulation of deformable objects, such as flexible cables and thin surfaces. An elastic rod is a canonical example of such an object. In this talk, I’ll prove that the free configuration space of an elastic rod has finite dimension and is path-connected, and I’ll show how these results make the problem of manipulation planning for an elastic rod easy to solve. I’ll then show that these same results can be used to answer open problems in mechanics, such as determining when a helical rod becomes unstable. Finally, I’ll show how these results for elastic rods lead to methods for manipulation of deformable surfaces.

Bio: Andy Borum is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics at Cornell University. He received his B.S. in Engineering Science and Mechanics and his B.S. in Mathematics from Virginia Tech in 2012, and his M.S. in 2014 and Ph.D. in 2018, both in Aerospace Engineering, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research focuses on theoretical and applied mechanics, control theory, and robotic manipulation.