Research in robotics and control systems has been a large part of my life.

PostDoctoral Fellow, Stanford University (2013)

At Stanford, I worked in the Biomimetics and Dextrous Manipulation Laboratory under Prof. Mark Cutkosky. I was aiming to develop a variable stiffness device using electroactive polymers. This involved developing new rapid prototyping methods, mechanical design and material selection to produce extremely thin actuators, and exploration of solid mechanics principles for thin polymers. This work was done in collaboration with Honda. 


PhD, Control Systems, UC Berkeley (2013)

For my PhD at Berkeley, I worked in the Biomimetic Millisystems Laboratory under the advisement of Prof. Ron Fearing. I explored high speed maneuverability of meso-scale legged robots. I developed an active tail that allows small legged robots to turn at over 400 deg/sec. I also developed an aerodynamic element that allows the robots to steer while running at high speeds without affecting leg gait. This is the first use of aerodynamics applied to steering in crawling/running robots that I am aware of. In an earlier project I was responsible for the mechanical design and project management of an autonomous 5 gram robot capable of navigating computer motherboards.

MS, Control Systems, UC Berkeley (2009)

For my master's work, I worked in the Vehicle Dynamics Laboratory under Professor Karl Hedrick. I worked toward the implementation of of a Model Predictive Control strategy to improve fuel economy using real-time traffic and location information. This work was was done in collaboration with the VW Electronic Research Lab in Palo Alto, and also involved advising several undergraduates and developing vehicle and fuel use models.

Publications (selected)

N. Kohut D. Zarrouk, K. Peterson, R. Fearing. “Aerodynamic Steering of a High-Speed Running Robot.” IEEE Int. Conf. on Intelligent Robots and Systems, Tokyo, Japan, November 2013

N. Kohut, A. Pullin, D. Zarrouk, D. Haldane, R. Fearing. “Precise Dynamic Turning of a 10cm Legged Robot on a Low Friction Surface Using a Tail.” IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation, Karlsruhe, Germany. May 2013

N. Kohut, D. Haldane, D. Zarrouk, R. Fearing. “Effect of Inertial Tail on Yaw Rate of 45 gram Legged Robot.” 15th International Conference on Climbing and Walking Robots and the Support Technologies for Mobile Machines, Baltimore, Maryland. July, 2012

A. Pullin, N. Kohut, D. Zarrouk, R. Fearing. “Dynamic turning of 13 cm robot comparing tail and differential drive.” IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation, Minneapolis, Minnesota. May 2012

N. Kohut, A. Hoover, K. Ma, S. Baek, R. S. Fearing. “MEDIC: A Legged Millirobot Utilizing Novel Obstacle Traversal.” IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation, Shanghai, China. May 2011.

N. Kohut, F. Borrelli, K. Hedrick. “Integrating Traffic Data and Model Predictive Control to Improve Fuel Economy.” 12th IFAC Symposium on Control in Transportation Systems, September 2-4, 2009, Redondo Beach, California.