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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program

Mechanical Engineering

Degree Type

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (M.S.M.E.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



This thesis presents the design of uBot-7, the latest version of a dexterous mobile manipulator. This platform has been iteratively developed to realize a high performance-to-cost dexterous whole body manipulator with respect to mobile manipulation. The semi-anthropomorphic design of the uBot is a demonstrated and functional research platform for developing advanced autonomous perception, manipulation, and mobility tasks. The goal of this work is to improve the uBot’s ability to sense and interact with its environment in order to increase the platforms capability to operate dexterously, through the incorporation of joint torque feedback, and safely, through the implementation of passive and active compliance. This is accomplished through incorporating series elastic actuators in its arms and torso joints, improving the mechanical design to reduce backlash, and incorporating impedance controllers in the robot. The focus of this thesis is the development of the mechanical, sensor, and controller design for the uBot-7 platform. An impedance controller is developed and evaluated on a bench top prototype series elastic actuator.


First Advisor

Frank C Sup IV