news    views    podcast    learn    |    about    contribute     republish    

Victoria Webster



I joined the Biorobotics Lab at Case Western Reserve University in 2009 as an Undergraduate in Mechanical engineering. At first, I volunteered during the school year on the Climbing Mini-Whegs project while returning home during the summers for an internship at Los Alamos National Lab studying the dynamic ductility of Zirconium. I was accepted into the BS/MS program and completed my Master’s in Mechanical Engineering in the Fall of 2012. Currently, I am a PhD candidate supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. I have worked on a wide range of projects during my course of study at CWRU, including several mobile robotic platforms (Climbing Mini-Whegs and Tensegripede), and the development, simulation, and control of a tunable compliance energy return actuator (TCERA). Additionally, I have worked extensively in simulation, including my Masters thesis on simulating complex multi-degree-of-freedom systems and ground contact modeling. My current work (in collaboration with Dr. Ozan Akkus) focuses on the development of biohybrid, muscle cell powered, actuators and devices, and the modeling of such devices.



Tissue-engineered biobots on titanium molds. Karaghen Hudson and Sung-Jin Park, CC BY-ND
Tissue-engineered biobots on titanium molds.
Karaghen Hudson and Sung-Jin Park, CC BY-ND

Think of a traditional robot and you probably imagine something made from metal and plastic. Such “nuts-and-bolts” robots are made of hard materials. As robots take on more roles beyond the lab, such rigid systems can present safety risks to the people they interact with. For example, if an industrial robot swings into a person, there is the risk of bruises or bone damage.