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Haldun Komsuoglu





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Haldun Komsuoglu, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

In February 2005, I moved to the University of Pennsylvania to join Kod*Lab as a post doctoral research fellow, supported originally by the DARPA-RiSE project and later by the NSF FIBR Program. My research spans 1) analytic studies in hybrid dynamical task control in the absence of sensors; and 2) design/implementation of modular electromechanical systems. I received the Ph.D. (2004) and M.S. (1998) degrees in Electrical Engineering: System from University of Michigan and a B.S. (1997) degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Middle East Technical University, Turkey.

During my doctoral study under Prof. Daniel E. Koditschek I participated three DARPA projects: DARPA Controlled Biological Systems (CBS); DARPA Robotic Hexapod (RHex); and DARPA Robots in Scansorial Environments (RiSE). You can find more information on these projects and my contributions in the project pages below.

In 2006, I founded Sandbox Innovations, Inc. --- a robotics start-up out of University of Pennsylvania aiming to bring the inventions from critically acclaimed DARPA-RHex project to the hands of first responders. For the following two years I led and personally funded this entrepreneurial effort. This period was an immensely educational experience where I learned invaluable lessons in investor relations, customer relations, industrial project management and human resources. In August 2008 after successfully delivering the first batch of RDK series Sandbox products I left the company to pursue other entrepreneurial opportunities. I am currently working on establishing Robolit, LLC---a design consulting company.

I am a competitive ballroom dancer. I am very lucky to have a beautiful and extremely talented partner with whom I was nationally ranked 3rd in Amateur Championship American Style Ballroom in 2008.
Princeton/Penn Ballroom Dance Competition, 2005
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Current Projects

  • SandBot - Legged locomotion in granular material and its modeling (in collaboration with Prof. Goldman at Georgia Institute of Technology).
  • EduBot - a low-cost programmable modular hexapod robot for research and education.
  • SprawlHex? - a hexapod robot with adjustable body sprawl as a model to study horizontal plane locomotion dynamics of arthropods.
  • RiSEBus? - a simple real-time communications bus for the use of heterogenous modular robotic platforms.

Past Projects

  • EduBot - a modular low cost hexapod mobility platform for research and education.
  • RiSE - world’s most dexterous hexapod robot platform that can climb on various vertical surfaces.
  • RHex - a multi-purpose robotic mobility platform that can navigate in highly unstable and broken natural settings.
  • LegNet? - a wireless local-area sensor network for the RHex system.
  • Body State Estimation - a sensor fusion system to estimate body state in a dynamic hexapod.
  • Hopper? - an analytical and numerical study of 1-DOF hopping task.
  • CNM? - a project aiming to study arthropods for the purposes of using them as a locomotion platform.

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