Master Thesis/Internship "Spring Loaded Hopper"

In order to strengthen our dedicated team in the Robotics Innovation Center (RIC) research department in Bremen we are looking for a  

Master Thesis/Internship 

(full-time/part-time, 6 – 9 months) 

The Robotics Innovation Center research department, headed by Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Kirchner, develop robot systems that are used for complex tasks on land, under water, in the air, and in space. The recently established underactuated lab at DFKI-RIC is looking for outstanding students to join us in pushing the boundaries of highly dynamic and agile robots.


The advent of quasi-direct drives have enabled the development of highly agile and dynamic legged robots (e. g. MIT mini-Cheetah [1], Unitree AlienGo, SOLO etc). They allow for high bandwidth impedance control which is crucial for impact mitigation during legged locomotion [2]. However, these systems have limited payload capacity and hence these robotic systems have a small size [1]. This thesis explores the idea of spring loaded quasi-direct drive based hopping leg which compensates for its body weight and can use all the available torque in the motors to increase the jumping height. The goal is to achieve a robot which weighs about 1 Kg and can jump 1 m in height. The student is expected to work on the modeling and control of such a system.

Our requirements:

Mathematical: Multi-body kinematics and dynamics, linear and non-linear control theory, actuator modeling and control

Programming: C/C++, Python, experience with multi-body dynamics simulations (especially with soft-elements or springs)


1. B. Katz, J. D. Carlo and S. Kim, "Mini Cheetah: A Platform for Pushing the Limits of Dynamic Quadruped Control," 2019 International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2019, pp. 6295-6301, doi: 10.1109/ICRA.2019.8793865.

2. P. M. Wensing, A. Wang, S. Seok, D. Otten, J. Lang and S. Kim, "Proprioceptive Actuator Design in the MIT Cheetah: Impact Mitigation and High-Bandwidth Physical Interaction for Dynamic Legged Robots," in IEEE Transactions on Robotics, vol. 33, no. 3, pp. 509-522, June 2017, doi: 10.1109/TRO.2016.2640183.

Please contact us for further information and send your application your application including current transkript of grades via E-Mail to: ric-application@dfki.de.

zuletzt geändert am 18.11.2019
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