Jamie Paik

Director of Reconfigurable Robotics Lab

Today, the mobility and manipulation capabilities of robots are tightly coupled to the hardware of the system. Since robot architectures are fixed from the conception of the design, both physical and functional capabilities of each robot are limited to its physical architecture. Robotic Origamis (Robogamis) are an innovation in the development processes for creating robots: Robogamis can transform their body shape and functionality to interact and adapt to its environment. Also, we approach fabricating robots in a 2D process instead of traditional 3D parts with lengthy assembly time. The main Robogami challenge lies in novel actuators, fabrications and designs that conform to the distinctive shapes of robot. Unconventional “robot” materials that embed joints, sensing, actuation, computation, and connectors need to be developed to fabricate the Robogamis. New planning and control algorithms are needed to enable the self-assembly of a 3D robot with specified functionality from a 2D structure. The functional robot requires structural integrity and strength to achieve the task.

In this talk, I will address the specific challenges involved with the building of Robogamis and Reconfigurable Robotics Lab’s research goal to provide robust solutions to meet the technological and integration challenges needed to demonstrate a capable, fully functional, end-to-end Robogami system that starts with specifications and delivers a functional robot.

Prof. Jamie Paik is Director of Reconfigurable Robotics Lab of Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and a member of Swiss NCCR robotics group. She is founder of the Reconfigurable Robotics Laboratory at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL), which leverages expertise in multi-material fabrication and smart material actuation. She received her PhD in Seoul National University on designing humanoid arm and a hand. During her Postdoctoral positions in ISIR (Institut des Systems Intelligents et de Robotic) in Universitat Pierre Marie Curie, Paris VI, she developed laparoscopic tools that are internationally patented. At Harvard University’s Microrobotics Laboratory, she started developing unconventional robots that push the physical limits of material and mechanisms. Her latest research effort is in self-morphing Robogami (robotic orgami) that transforms its planar shape to 2D or 3D by folding in predefined patterns and sequences, just like the paper art, origami. 

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