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Whitney Crooks
Mechanical Engineering

I attended college at Washington University in St. Louis, where I received a B.S. in mechanical engineering and minors in robotics and writing, and obtained my M.S. in mechanical engineering at Tufts University. My Master's thesis centered around crowdsourcing ways to control soft robots. I worked with my IGERT advisors, Drs. Chris Rogers and Barry Trimmer, in the Center for Engineering and Education Outreach (CEEO) and in the Neuromechanics and Biomimetic Devices Laboratory, respectively. Currently, I am pursuing my Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at Tufts under Drs. Chris Rogers and William Messner. I am looking at using the Baxter Research Robot to help the elderly help the elderly through the use of teleoperable, home-assistant robots.

IGERT Research
I worked on a project to crowdsource control strategies for soft robots. Users could log onto my website and sign up for a time to control the Softworm, a soft-bodied, caterpillar-like robot. From the data collected, we hoped be able to identify various locomotion strategies for the robot in question. While the data we collected, did not exactly match the data shown in the literature, we were able to determine that with a large number of participants, crowdsourcing for soft robots is possible.

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