Robot Lifting a Weight

In the first major part of my thesis, I looked at how to use the dynamics of a robot to enable it to lift heavy objects. The idea is that sometimes, robots are not strong enough to lift a heavy object through shear brute force. In such cases I showed that, if we have the robot move a little more intelligently, we can greatly increase its capacity. These results were validated on a simple robot prototype I designed.

Robot Aiming at a Target In the second major part of my Ph.D., I explored methods of using robot kinematics, dynamics, and trajectory optimization to throw objects. The first goal was to throw objects the furthest possible and the next part was to hit a precise target.

During my Ph.D. work, I also got the opportunity to teach the Rigid Body Dynamics course at the undergraduate level. With 160 students, this was a trial by fire exercise that I thoroughly enjoyed and that confirmed my passion for learning and teaching.

Finally, I had an undergraduate intern work with me to explore a few different avenues that I would not have had time to dive into on my own. This project, over two summers and part-time for one year, helped hone my project management skills and structure my Ph.D. project a little better.


Expertise developed

  • C/C++
  • Robot kinematics and dynamics
  • Numerical optimization
  • Technical writing
  • Real-time control
  • Matlab
  • Python


This project resulted in one thesis, one conference paper, and two journal papers:


  • Gallant, A. (2020). Optimisation de trajectoire pour l’augmentation des capacités des manipulateurs robotiques. (pdf, Google Scholar)

Journal papers

  • Gallant, A. and Gosselin, C. (2018). Extending the capabilities of robotic manipulators using trajectory optimization. Mechanism and Machine Theory. (pdf, Google Scholar)
  • Gallant, A. and Gosselin, C. (2016). Parametric trajectory optimisation for increased payload. Transactions of the Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering. (pdf, Google Scholar)

Conference Paper

  • Gallant, A. and Gosselin, C. (2015). Parametric Trajectory Optimisation for Increased Payload. Transactions of the 2015 CCToMM M3 Symposium. (pdf, Google Scholar)