James E. Bobrow

Emeritus Professor
(949) 824-8585

The Henry Samueli School of Engineering
University of California, Irvine
Irvine, CA 92697-3975


B.S., California State University,Long Beach, Mechanical Engineering, 1977
M.S., University of California,Los Angeles, Mechanical Engineering, 1979
Ph.D., University of California,Los Angeles, Mechanical Engineering, 1982

Dr. Bobrow is interested in robotics, dynamics and control of nonlinear systems, and applications of numerical optimization techniques to electromechanical design.

Dr. Bobrow and his group are currently focused on developing algorithms for the optimal design and control of machines. His team has developed a unified formulation of the dynamics of branched kinetic chains to accomplish this goal. Current applications include legged locomotion systems and human walking rehabilitation.

Dr. Bobrow also is working with fluid-powered actuators to achieve high-bandwidth control. He uses modern nonlinear control theory to show that such actuators rival the dynamic performance of electric motors with much lower weight and less cost. Applications of this research include a pneumatic robot and a high-performance, low-cost personal vehicle simulator.

In another project, Dr. Bobrow is trying to achieve maximum shock isolation and damping from a reset-able actuator. His group has developed a simple, nonlinear device that achieves damping characteristics similar to rate-dependent dampers, but is only dependent on position, therefore causing smaller forces to be transmitted to the vibrating payload.