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Thomas Sugar

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Professor
Faculty, POLY Campus, Mailcode 2180
Biography

Professor, Department of Engineering, College of Technology and Innovation

Dr. Thomas Sugar works in the areas of mobile robot navigation and wearablerobotics for rehabilitation of stroke survivors. He majored in business andmechanical engineering for his Bachelors degrees and mechanical engineering forhis Doctoral degree all from the University of Pennsylvania. In industry, heworked as a project engineer for W. L. Gore and Associates. He has been afaculty member in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and theDepartment of Engineering at Arizona State University. His research focuses oncompliant wearable robots using tunable springs and pneumatic muscleactuators.

Education

Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, 1999
M.S.E., Mechanical Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, 1992
B.S.E., Mechanical Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, 1991
B.S.E., Entrepreneurial Management, The Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania, 1991

Expertise

Mechanical Design, Controls, Robotics

Research Interests

Dr. Sugar leads a research effort in wearable robotic systems. He is developing robotic orthoses and prostheses for stroke rehabilitation and mobility. He collaborates with Prof. McBeath in psychology to understand perceptual principles that guide human navigation and locomotion. His current research projects include SPARKy, Spring Ankle with Regenerative Kinetics, and PAFO, a powered ankle foot orthosis for stroke rehabilitation.

Awards

Arizona State University Researcher of the Year, 2007

Publications
  • Balasubramanian, Sivakumar, Ward, Jeff, Sugar, Thomas, He, Jiping. Characterization of the Dynamic Properties of Pneumatic Muscle Actuators. (2007).
  • K Hollander, Robert Ilg, Thomas Sugar, D Herring. An Efficient Robotic Tendon for Gait Assistance. ASME Journal of Biomechanical Engineering (2006).
  • K Hollander, Thomas Sugar. Design of Lightweight Lead Screw Actuators for Wearable Robotic Applications. ASME Journal of Mechanical Design (2006).
  • Thomas Sugar, M McBeath, A Suluh, K Mundhra. Mobile Robot Interception using Human Navigational Principles: Comparison of Active versus Passive Tracking Algorithms. Autonomous Robots (2006).
  • Thomas Sugar, M McBeath, Z Wang. A Unified Fielder Theory for Interception of Moving Objects either Above or Below the Horizon. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review (2006).
  • C Oberle, M McBeath, S Madigan, Thomas Sugar. The Galileo Bias: A Na├»ve Conceptual Belief that Influences People's Perceptions and Performance in a Ball-Dropping Task. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition (2005).
  • K Bharadwaj, Thomas Sugar, J Koeneman, E Koeneman. Design of a Robotic Gait Trainer using Spring Over Muscle Actuators for Ankle Stroke Rehabilitation. ASME Journal of Biomechanical Engineering (2005).
  • K McBeath, Thomas Sugar. Natural Selection of Asymmetric Traits Operates at Multiple Levels. Behavioral and Brain Sciences (2005).
  • Dolgov, I (Author) ,McBeath, M K (Author) ,Sugar, Thomas (Author) . The influence of symmetry on perception of thrown, oblong, symmetrical projectiles in 3D. Studies in Perception and Action VIII (2005).
  • Danielson, S, Henderson, M, Kou, C, Morrell, D, Grondin, R, Hicks, R, Sugar, Thomas. A Clean Slate: Designing A Mechanical Systems Concentration Within A New Engineering Program. (2005).
  • Thomas Sugar, J Desai. A Framework for Kinematic and Dynamic Motion Planning for a Formation of Mobile Robots. Journal of Intelligent Automation and Soft Computing (2004).
  • D Burns, Thomas Sugar. Rapid Embedded Programming in the Mathworks Environment. JCISE, Journal of Computing and Information Science in Engineering (2002).
  • Thomas Sugar. A Novel Selective Compliant Actuator. Mechatronics (2002).
  • Thomas Sugar, V Kumar. Control of Cooperating Mobile Manipulators. IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation (2002).
  • Thomas Sugar, V Kumar. Design and Control of a Compliant Parallel Manipulator. ASME Journal of Mechanical Design (2002).
  • Thomas Sugar, V Kumar. Metrics for Analysis and Optimization of Grasps and Fixtures. International Journal of Robotics and Automation (2002).
  • . . Review of: Tight Mobile Robot Cooperation (2002).
  • Mundhra, K, Suluh, A, Sugar, Thomas, McBeath, M. Intercepting a Falling Object: Digital Video Robot. (2002).
  • Sugar, Thomas. Intercepting a Falling Object: Digital Video Robot. (2002).
  • Sugar, Thomas. Spatial Interception for Mobile Robots. (2002).
  • Suluh, A, Mundhra, K, Sugar, Thomas, McBeath, M. Spatial Interception for Mobile Robots. (2002).
  • Thomas Sugar, M McBeath. Robotic Modeling of Mobile Ball-Catching as a Tool for Understanding Biological Interceptive Behavior. Behavioral and Brain Sciences (2001).
  • Chaimowicz, L, Sugar, Thomas, Kumar, V, Campos, M. An Architecture for Tightly Coupled Multi-Robot Cooperation. (2001).
  • Sugar, Thomas. Coordination of Multiple Mobile Manipulators. (2001).
  • Sugar, Thomas. Mouth Operated Neurosurgical Robot. (2001).
  • Sugar, Thomas. Spatial Navigation Algorithms: Applications to Mobile Robotics. (2001).
  • Sugar, Thomas. Spatial Navigation Principles: Applications to Mobile Robotics. (2001).
  • Sugar, Thomas, Desai, J, Kumar, V, Ostrowski, J. Coordination of Multiple Mobile Manipulators. (2001).
  • Sugar, Thomas, Fussell, P. Mouth Operated Neurosurgical Robot. (2001).
  • Sugar, Thomas, McBeath, M. Spatial Navigation Algorithms: Applications to Mobile Robotics. (2001).
  • Suluh, A, Sugar, Thomas, McBeath, M. Spatial Navigation Principles: Applications to Mobile Robotics. (2001).
  • Sugar, Thomas (Author) ,Kumar, V (Author) . Control and coordination of multiple mobile robots in manipulation and material handling tasks. Experimental Robotics VI, Lecture Notes in Control and Information Sciences (2000).
  • Sugar, Thomas. A Novel Selective Compliant Actuator. (2000).
  • Sugar, Thomas. Metrics for Analysis and Optimization of Grasps and Fixtures. (2000).
  • Sugar, Thomas, Kumar, V. Metrics for Analysis and Optimization of Grasps and Fixtures. (2000).
Research Activity
Fall 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
EGR 444Engineering Design
EGR 492Honors Directed Study
EGR 590Reading and Conference
MAE 592Research
EGR 593Applied Project
EGR 599Thesis
MAE 599Thesis
MAE 792Research
EGR 792Research
MAE 795Continuing Registration
MAE 799Dissertation
EGR 799Dissertation
Summer 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
EGR 593Applied Project
EGR 599Thesis
MAE 792Research
EGR 792Research
MAE 795Continuing Registration
Spring 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
EGR 444Engineering Design
EGR 493Honors Thesis
EGR 590Reading and Conference
MAE 592Research
EGR 593Applied Project
MAE 595Continuing Registration
MAE 599Thesis
EGR 599Thesis
MAE 792Research
MAE 799Dissertation
Fall 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
MET 331Machine Design I
EGR 444Engineering Design
EGR 492Honors Directed Study
EGR 590Reading and Conference
MAE 592Research
EGR 593Applied Project
EGR 599Thesis
MAE 599Thesis
MAE 792Research
MAE 795Continuing Registration
MAE 799Dissertation
Summer 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
EGR 599Thesis
MAE 792Research
MAE 795Continuing Registration
Spring 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
EGR 590Reading and Conference
MAE 592Research
EGR 592Research
EGR 593Applied Project
MAE 595Continuing Registration
EGR 599Thesis
MAE 599Thesis
MAE 792Research
MAE 799Dissertation
Fall 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
EGR 590Reading and Conference
EGR 593Applied Project
MAE 599Thesis
EGR 599Thesis
MAE 792Research
MAE 799Dissertation
Summer 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
EGR 599Thesis
MAE 792Research
Spring 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
EGR 445Mechanical Engineering Systems
EGR 584Internship
EGR 590Reading and Conference
MAE 592Research
EGR 592Research
EGR 593Applied Project
MAE 595Continuing Registration
EGR 599Thesis
MAE 599Thesis
MAE 792Research
Fall 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
EGR 201Use-Inspired Design Project I
MAE 592Research
EGR 599Thesis
MAE 599Thesis
MAE 792Research
Summer 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
MAE 592Research
MAE 599Thesis
Spring 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
EGR 445Mechanical Engineering Systems
MAE 547Mech Design/Control Robots
MAE 592Research
EGR 593Applied Project
MAE 599Thesis
EGR 599Thesis
MAE 792Research
Fall 2013
Course NumberCourse Title
EGR 201Fall Multidisciplinary Project
EGR 520Engineering Sys Design & Anal
EGR 584Internship
EGR 590Reading and Conference
MAE 590Reading and Conference
MAE 592Research
EGR 593Applied Project
EGR 599Thesis
MAE 792Research
Spring 2013
Course NumberCourse Title
EGR 445Mechanical Engineering Systems
Presentations
  • Morrell, D, Grondin, R, Kuo, C, Roberts, C, Hinks, R, Henderson, M, Sugar, Thomas, Danielson, S. Beyond Measurement: Designing Engineering Outcomes to Foster Student Achievement. 2006 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition (Jun 2006).
  • Sugar, Thomas. Robots: The Interactive Exhibition. Arizona Science Center (Mar 2006).
  • He, J, Koeneman, E, Schultz, R, Herring, D, Wanberg, J, Huang, H, Sugar, Thomas, Herman, R, Koeneman, J. RUPERT: A Device for Robotic Upper Extremity Repetitive Therapy. 27th IEEE EMBS Annual International Conference (Sep 2005).
  • Hollander, K, Sugar, Thomas. Concepts for Compliant Actuation in Wearable Robotic Systems. U.S. Korea Conference, UKC (Aug 2004).
  • Sugar, Thomas. Compliant Actuation. Northern Arizona University (Nov 2003).
  • Sugar, Thomas. Fall Prevention using an Omni-Directional Treadmill. Arizona Parkinson Disease Meeting (Oct 2003).
  • Sugar, Thomas. Human Navigational Principles: Applications to Mobile Robotics. (Jul 2000).
  • He, J, Koeneman, E, Schultz, R, Herring, D, Huang, H, Sugar, Thomas, Herman, R, Koeneman, J. Design of a Robotic Upper Extremity Repetitive Therapy Device. 9th Annual Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics, ICORR
  • Sugar, Thomas. Compliant Constant-Force Mechanism with a Variable Output for Micro/Macro Applications. IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
  • Sugar, Thomas. Spring over Muscle (SOM) Actuator for Rehabilitation Devices. 26th Annual International Conference of the IEEE EMBS
  • Sugar, Thomas. Novel, Compliant, Synergistic Interactions of Multiple Contacts for Grasping. World Automation Congress (WAC2002)
  • Sugar, Thomas. Rapid Embedded Programming: A Tool for Education. 2002 ASME Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers in Engineering Conference
  • Sugar, Thomas. A Novel Omni-directional Perturbation Platform. IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems
  • Hollander, K, Sugar, Thomas, Herring, D. Adjustable Robotic Tendon using a Jack Spring. IEEE 9th Annual Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics, ICORR
  • Sugar, Thomas. A Robotic Jack Spring for Ankle Gait Assistance. ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conference
  • Sugar, Thomas. Design of a robotic gait trainer using spring over muscle actuators for ankle stroke rehabilitation. Design of Medical Devices Conference
  • Sugar, Thomas. Design of Lead Screw Actuators for Wearable Robotic Applications. ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conference
  • Sugar, Thomas. Design of the Robotic Tendon. Design of Medical Devices
  • Bharadwaj, K, Sugar, Thomas. Kinematics of a robotic gait trainer for stroke rehabilitation. IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
  • Ward, J, Hitt, J, Sugar, Thomas, Bharadwaj, K. Dynamic Pace Controller for the Robotic Gait Trainer. ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conference
  • Sugar, Thomas. Perceptual Navigation Strategy for Mobile Robots Intercepting Ground Balls. IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
  • Sugar, Thomas. Robotic gait trainer for stroke rehabilitation of the ankle joint. IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
  • Sugar, Thomas. Omni-Directional Treadmill System. 11th International Symposium on Haptic Interfaces for Virtual Environments and Teleoperator Systems
  • Sugar, Thomas. Perceptual Navigation Strategy: A Unified Approach to Interception of Ground balls and Fly balls. IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
Service
  • ASME Mechanism and Robotics Committee, Organization of the International ASME Mechanism and Robotics Conference, Member (2004 - 2010)
  • Program Committee: DETC 2006 Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers in Engineering Conference, Member (2006 - 2006)
  • Program Committee: Haptics, Member (2006 - 2006)
  • Robotic Theory Symposium at the ASME DETC 2006 conference responsible for organizing and reviewing 16 conference papers, Chair (2006 - 2006)
  • IEEE, Member (1999 - 2006)
  • ASME, Member (1997 - 2006)
  • ASME Student Mechanism Competition, Evaluator (2005 - 2005)
  • Program Committee: DETC 2005 Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers in Engineering Conference, Member (2005 - 2005)
  • Program Committee: IROS, Member (2005 - 2005)
  • Review Committee: ICORR, Member (2005 - 2005)
  • Robotic Theory Symposium at the ASME DETC 2005 conference responsible for organizing and reviewing 31 conference papers, Co-chair (2005 - 2005)
  • Program Committee: DETC2004 Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers in Engineering Conference, Member (2004 - 2004)
  • Rehabilitation Robotics at the IEEE Conference on Medicine and Biology, Session Organizer (2004 - 2004)
  • Robotic Systems Symposium at the ASME DETC 2004 conference responsible for organizing and reviewing 28 conference papers, Co-chair (2004 - 2004)
  • Search Committee - Manufacturing Position, Member (2004 - 2004)
  • Demonstration and Exhibit on Compliant Actuators at the IROS 2003 Conference in Las Vegas (2003 - 2003)
  • Program Committee: DETC2002 Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers in Engineering Conference, Member (2002 - 2002)
  • Robotic Systems Symposium at the ASME DETC 2002 conference responsible for organizing and reviewing 40 conference papers, Co-chair (2002 - 2002)
  • Vision Based Control, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Session Chairman (2002 - 2002)
  • Session Chairman, VI (2001 - 2001)
  • Program Committee: VI 2001 Vision Interface Annual Conference, Member (2001 - 2001)
  • Vision Based Control, 2001 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Session Chairman (2001 - 2001)
  • MAE Curriculum Review (2001 - 2001)
  • 2000 ASME Student Mechanism Competition, Evaluator (2000 - 2000)
  • Novel Actuators, 7th Mechatronics Forum, Session Chairman (2000 - 2000)
  • MAE Curriculum Review (2000 - 2000)