Elizabeth Danielle Vasquez

Elizabeth Danielle Vasquez
Undergraduate Research and Innovation Scholar
Advisor: Alberto Rodriguez
Department: Mechanical Engineering
Areas of Research: Robotics
Years: 2018-2019
Research Project Title:

Engineering Friction with Micro-Texture

abstract:Control of frictional forces is critical to robotic manipulation, be that through a gripper or locomotion. The natural anisotropy of friction creates asymmetries that if controlled can produce directional behavior: making it easier to move in one direction over another. This variability in friction is commonly exploited by animals to produce net motions and behaviors in useful directions. The overall goal of this research is to explore the connection between friction distribution, texture, and behavior in manipulation and locomotion. This project focuses on experimentally determining how frictional properties vary with changing micro-textures and clearly simulate this relationship. In this way, one can design corresponding micro-textures that produce desired friction properties.

I’m doing a SuperUROP because I want to improve my research and communication skills. My past experiences in other labs and projects has made me a better physical creator and researcher which will be useful in my current project. I'm interested in robotics and micro-textures so this project is the perfect combination, and I’m excited to learning more about these topics. Also, I get to do both physical and theoretical work which is great!