Nak-seung Patrick Hyun

I am an assistant professor focusing on the automatic control area at the Elmore School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University (Department profile). Prior to joining Purdue, I was a Research Associate (2019-2022) at Harvard Microrobotics Laboratory (hosted by Prof. Robert J. Wood), and a Postdoctoral Fellow (2018-2019) at Harvard Agile Robotics (supervised by Prof. Scott Kuindersma) at Harvard University. I obtained my Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology (2018), where I worked with Prof. Erik I. Verriest and Prof. Patricio A. Vela.  I obtained Master's Degrees in Mathematics (2013) and Electrical and Computer Engineering (2013) from the Georgia Institute of Technology. 

Research PrograM

My research program explores the cyclic learning cycle between biology, mathematical system theory, and robotics with an emphasis on control theoretic aspects of bio-inspired robots with extreme behaviors

These include 1) flapping-wing vehicles (e.g., Harvard RoboBee); and 2) impulsive systems inspired by mantis shrimp strikes (e.g., strikes within 4 ms). The intrinsic challenges for such systems with extreme behaviors include complex dynamics with multiple timescales (fast and slow) requiring high-speed sensing for feedback control design. In addition, due to their small size and weight, an understanding of environmental conditions (i.e., fluid conditions) is necessary for controlled motion in unstructured (e.g., outdoor) environments, where current insect-scale robot experiments are limited to indoor environments. 

My goal is to design a robust control framework for such systems with extreme behaviors to overcome the challenges for control in unstructured environments, with a long-term goal of extending these methods toward intelligent swarm robotics. Constructing a novel control framework for these systems will provide a fundamental understanding of high mobility in synthetic systems and provide interdisciplinary research tools for biology.