"Wired In" with João Ramos

11/13/2019 The News-Gazette

Written by The News-Gazette


João Ramos.
João Ramos.

Each week, staff writer Paul Wood interviews a high-tech difference-maker. This week, João Ramos, a University of Illinois mechanical science and engineering professor who collaborated with MIT Professor Sangbae Kim to develop Little HERMES, a small-scale bipedal robot designed to go places that humans dare not.


What got you started in robotics? 

My first contact with robots occurred during my undergraduate studies when I joined my university’s robotics team, RioBotz. The team focused on building combat robots to participate in national and international events. With them I learned how to design robust robots.

What kind of work is involved in creating a bipedal robot? 

Bipedal robots are different from conventional robot arms that you see in factories or wheeled robots in the sense that they need to precisely control the forces they apply on the ground with their feet in order to walk. For that, we developed custom motors that are able to generate large forces but also robust enough to take impacts with the ground when the robot walks. The motors are the same as the ones on the MIT Cheetah.

Read the rest of the interview on the News-Gazette website >>

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This story was published November 13, 2019.