Sylvain joined IHMC in April 2013 as a post-doctoral researcher working in the rlotics ab. He earned a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from University of Versailles, France, and a degree in mechanical engineering from University of Poitiers, France.
His main interest is humanoid/bipedal locomotion, especially the running motion. He was involved in the DARPA Robotics Challenge and the FastRunner projects.
As part of the DARPA Challenge, Sylvan was involved in phase one, the Virtual Robotics Challenge, in June 2013. Among the three tasks (driving a vehicle, walking over varied terrain, and manipulating a fire hose), Sylvain was involved in software development for the driving task and was one of the operators controlling the virtual humanoid robot Atlas during the competition. He focused on the vehicle ingress and egress part of the task: he worked on a suitable high-level humanoid controller and scripted the sequence of robot actions, both used in the competition.
For phase two, the DRC Trials in December 2013, Sylvain worked on implementing the walking controller and state estimator on the physical robot Atlas and was the operator controlling the robot for the terrain task.
For the FastRunner project, Sylvain focused the passive stability (no balance controller using global state feedback) that lies behind the running ostrich robot by studying simple bipedal systems. He also developed a running controller using a with balance control despite for the underactuated robot. The controller has the interesting property of using an inverse dynamics algorithm to allow a control of the hip and knee angles with a non-actuated knee.
Sylvain’s hobbies are juggling, fire breathing and having fun.