Dr Michael Chuah is a Research Scientist with the Robotics & Autonomous Systems (RAS) department at the Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R), Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore since 2018. He received his B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), Pittsburgh, PA, and both his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA.
As part of the research and development team in the Biomimetic Robotics Laboratory, Dr Chuah helped design, develop, and build the MIT Cheetah robot with Professor Sangbae Kim. The MIT Cheetah robot is a unique research platform that enables the study of dynamic locomotion capabilities in an experimental robot. This quadrupedal robot combines optimal actuator design principles and model predictive control (MPC) to enable energy efficient running at speeds up to 6.4m/s as well as autonomous jumping over obstacles 40cm tall. Here is a video of the robot climbing stairs, and here is a video of the Mini Cheetah performing a backflip.
As part of his thesis work, Dr Chuah developed a multi-axis, large force detecting foot sensor for legged robots. It is a monolithic composite structure that is composed of a piezoresistive sensor array PCB completely embedded in a protective polyurethane rubber layer. The composite architecture allows for compliance and traction during ground contact, while deformation alters the measured stress distribution. Using machine learning, we are able to map the local sampling of stress inside the polymeric footpad to forces in three axes with high accuracy. This footpad sensor is intended for use on the MIT Cheetah to provide a complete picture of the ground interaction forces that is a necessity in enabling high-speed and dynamic ground locomotion. Ongoing work with these foot sensors involve incorporating them into prototype next generation wearable smart shoes for potential use with patients and athletes, and miniaturizing them to fit into the fingertips of robotic hands.