IRIM Robotics Seminar—Sangbae Kim of MIT

The Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines presents “Robots for Physical Interaction” by Sangbae Kim of MIT. The event will be held in the Marcus Nanotechnology Building, Rooms 1116-1118, from 12:15-1:15 p.m. and is open to the public.


While robots dominate repetitive works in factories, the design and control of these robots are not suitable for relatively complex tasks that humans do easily. These tasks typically require force sensing and interaction force control. Conventional robots are not built to control force or to be flexible to perform like human arms.

This talk will discuss how the new design paradigm allows dynamic interactive force control within environments. As an embodiment of such a robot design paradigm, the latest version of the Cheetah robot and force-feedback teleoperation arms will be presented. This new class of robots will play a crucial role in future robot applications such as elderly care, home service, delivery, and services in environments unfavorable for humans.


Sangbae Kim is the director of the Biomimetic Robotics Laboratory and an associate professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT. His research focuses on the bio-inspired robot design achieved by extracting principles from animals.

Kim’s achievements in bio-inspired robot development include creating the world’s first directional adhesive inspired by gecko lizards and a climbing robot named Stickybot that utilizes the directional adhesive to climb smooth surfaces. TIME Magazine named Stickybot one of the best inventions of 2006.

One of Kim’s recent achievements is the development of the MIT Cheetah, a robot capable of stable running outdoors up to 13 mph and autonomous jumping over obstacles at the efficiency of animals. More than 300 media articles covered his work on Cheetah.

Kim is a recipient of best paper awards from the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (2007), King-Sun Fu Memorial Transactions on Robotics (2008) and IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics (2016). Additionally, he received a DARPA Young Faculty Award (2013), an NSF CAREER award (2014), and a Ruth and Joel Spira Award for Distinguished Teaching (2015).

Event Details


  • Wednesday, January 23, 2019
    12:15 pm - 1:15 pm
Location: Marcus Nanotechnology Building, Rooms 1116-1118

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  • Sangbae Kim

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Josie Giles
IRIM Marketing Communications Manager