Robert Griffin is a Research Scientist at IHMC and focuses on improving mobility and autonomy for legged robotics and powered exoskeletons. He is interested in system level approaches for improving the mobility and capability of these robotic platforms, including platform design, motion design and control, autonomy and manipulation, and perception.
Robert leads the robotics group at IHMC, heading a number of projects focusing on advancing humanoid robots. This includes projects from Office of Naval Research, DEVCOM, and NASA Johnson Space Center, mostly centering around the development and advancement of a next generation humanoid robot called Nadia, which has a high power-to-weight ratio and large range of motion and will enable exploration and interaction with complex, dynamic, and unknown environments such as ships and urban settings. This requires improving the state of the art in legged locomotion, shared autonomy and control, perception, and robot design.
Robert is also heavily involved in the IHMC exoskeleton team, which is currently designing a novel exoskeleton to carry loads and protect the musculoskeletal system to assist DOE workers during nuclear remediation activities. Robert led the team in the recent 2020 Cybathlon Powered Exoskeleton Race, which is a competition for paralyzed athletes assisted by technology, where they placed fourth, and as a finalist in the Toyota Mobility Foundation’s Mobility Unlimited Challenge.
While with IHMC, Robert also led and been involved in a number of other projects, including developing quadrupeds for ARL’s Robotics Collaborative Technology Alliance, the 2016 Cybathlon Powered Exoskeleton race, and several projects for private companies.
Robert earned his bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Tech University, and his Ph.D. from Virginia Tech in 2017 with a primary research focus on the control of bipedal robotic mobility for humanoids and exoskeletons. This includes the Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot with ONR and Virginia Tech’s entry into the 2015 DARPA Robotics Challenge.