JOIN MY NETWORK
MON - FRI, 8AM - 7PM
REPLY IN 24 HOURS
Download Resume

Daniel August Hagen

Roboticist, Mathematician, Controls Engineer

insideOut:
A Bio-Inspired Machine Learning Approach to Estimating Posture in Robots Driven by Compliant Tendons
Robotic revolute joint actuated by antagonist motors and compliant tendons
Predicting Joint Angle from Sensor Data
Using Feedback Linearization on Tendon-driven Systems to Control Joint Angle and Stiffness
Deriving a Better Musculotendon Excursion Equation
Controlling Tendon-driven Systems with Integrator Backstepping Algorithm
Percent Error from Assuming Inextensible Tendons During Isometric Task
Percent Error from Assuming Constant Pennation During Isometric Task
SIAM DS 2019
The Motor Control Problem
Grodins 2018
Similar Movements Induce Different Musculotendon Velocities
Visualizing Kinematically-Derived Muscle Length Error
Controlling a Physical Pendulum w. Muscles
Muscle Moment Arms During a Basketball Free Throw
SfN 2016

About me

PROFESSIONAL PATH

Stop me if you've heard this one before... I'm a chef-turned-scientist who likes to build stuff and code. I used to be an actor and I love math. Pretty straightforward career path, right?

The truth is, I like to make things. In 2011, I started my own catering company so I could make fun and interesting dishes for my clients (and because it's an unofficial LA law that you cater if you're an actor). Then one random day, while catering a corporate viewing party, I was fortunate enough to see Dr. Hugh Herr's TED talk. While seamlessly walking around the stage on his two lower-limb prosthetics, Dr. Herr brought everyone to tears as he described how he used state-of-the-art prosthetics to restore a ballerina's ability to dance after losing her leg in the Boston Marathon bombing. There wasn't a dry eye in the audience as we watched this woman dance for the first time since the terrorist attack. I sat there speechless as I witness the intersection of art and math make a difference in this woman's life. I was so inspired by this story that the next day I decided to go back to school to pursue a degree in Biomedical Engineering. Six months later, I said goodbye to catering and hello to graduate school.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at USC as a member of Valero Lab. I learned a lot about biomechanics, motor control, control theory, machine learning, and neuroscience. I wrote numerous computer programs -- some for research and some just because I wanted to build something useful -- and I learned how to collaborate across disciplines while participating in an academically diverse lab. After graduating in 2020, I was fortunate enough to land at Sarcos Robotics where I have continued to grow and learn while pushing the bleeding edge of robotics and exoskeletons. It's honestly been a wild ride.

I pride myself on being a driven individual who likes to not just fundamentally understand how things work, but also why. I strive to always ensure that my work is both efficient and polished so that I might strike a balance between productivity and creativity. And I thrive on collaborations—solving big problems requires any and every perspective to make breakthroughs and I believe communication and teamwork are vital to this approach.

Education

ACADEMIC CAREER

DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY IN BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, VITERBI SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING
MAY 2016 - JUNE 2020

GPA: 3.955 (Provost Fellow)

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, VITERBI SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING
JANUARY 2015 - MAY 2016

GPA: 3.95

BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN MATHEMATICS

UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
AUGUST 2006 - MAY 2010

GPA: 3.60 (Minors: Chemistry, Biochemistry)

Skills

LANGUAGES

PYTHON

MATLAB

C/C++

HTML / CSS

Javascript

LaTeX

TOOLS
Rigid Body Dynamics, Optimal Control, Spatial/Linear Algebra, Signal Processing/Filtering, Bipedal Locomotion, Serial Manipulators, Physics Simulations (MuJoCo, Simscape), Object-Oriented Programming, Machine Learning, Artificial Neural Networks, Git, Travis CI, REST APIs, Data Visualization, Adobe Illustrator, Google Sheets, Microsoft Office
COURSEWORK
Linear Systems Theory, Nonlinear and Adaptive Control, Neuromuscular Systems, Lagrangian Mechanics, Inverse Kinematics, Path Planning, Physiological Control Systems
SOFT SKILLS
Persistent, Passionate, Flexible, Detail-Oriented, Communicative, Self-Motivated, Collaborative, Problem-Solving

Work Experience

PREVIOUS JOBS

SENIOR ROBOTICS CONTROLS ENGINEER

SARCOS TECHNOLOGY AND ROBOTICS CORP.
JUNE 2022 - PRESENT
  • Integrate various walking models and path planning algorithms with a whole-body, task space controller in order to generate bipedal locomotion of a humanoid robot in a simulated environment
  • Lead academic collaborations with two prominent Universities; coordinating meetings and milestones, guiding technical development, and co-authoring peer-reviewed publications
  • Estimate the position and orientation of a floating base robot by formulating an extended Kalman filter to fuse together joint angle measurements with IMU measurements
  • Maintain code repositories and libraries utilizing proper Gitflow and documentation to allow for algorithms to be more readily shared and adapted across teams/projects
  • Guide biweekly sprint planning and backlog grooming meetings to help identify friction points, avoid project-creep, and provide timely support when needed

CONTROLS ENGINEER I

SARCOS TECHNOLOGY AND ROBOTICS CORP.
NOVEMBER 2020 - JUNE 2022
  • Developed a whole-body, task space control algorithm for a hybrid exoskeleton/humanoid robot capable of accomplishing a variety of goals like balancing and end-effector position/orientation tracking
  • Designed and conducted multiple experiments for validating various sensor measurements
  • Standardized internal documentation through the use of version-controlled LaTeX documentation repositories aimed at increasing both project progress observability and cross-team collaboration

GRADUATE RESEARCH ASSISTANT

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, DIVISION OF BIOKINESIOLOGY AND PHYSICAL THERAPY
MAY 2015 - AUGUST 2020

Brain-Body Dynamics Lab w. Dr. Francisco J. Valero-Cuevas

  • Controlled and analyzed redundant tendon-driven systems in order to better understand motor control by designing novel simulation platforms in both Python and MATLAB
  • Increased lab productivity by developing useful programs that automatically format and save data visualizations, remind lab members of upcoming deadlines, and generate progress reports

TEACHING ASSISTANT

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, DEPARTMENT OF BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING
AUGUST 2019 - JANUARY 2020
AUGUST 2018 - JANUARY 2019

BME 620L - Applied Electrophysiology w. Dr. Gerald E. Loeb

  • Facilitated weekly experiments that utilize concepts from biophysics to record physiological phenomena and to stimulate electrically-excitable tissue (e.g., EMG, EEG)
  • Encouraged learning and proficiency in course concepts and lab techniques by leading weekly discussion groups of 15 or more students

TEACHING ASSISTANT

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, DEPARTMENT OF BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING
JANUARY 2019 - MAY 2019

BME 402 - Control and Communication in the Nervous System w. Dr. Bartlett Mel

  • Lead two weekly group discussions with students to build computational models of the nervous system
  • Taught basic MATLAB and Microsoft Excel concepts (e.g., IF statements, ODE solvers, image processing)
  • Provided course statistics for individual questions on assessments and assignments to provide up-to-date feedback to the students and teacher on sources of confusion and concepts that need further explanation

OWNER / HEAD CHEF

iCUE CATERING
AUGUST 2011 - JANUARY 2015

iCue Catering: I COOK, U EAT

  • Established a new catering company, grown from a passion project to a stable business
  • Curated private events by developing new menus, managing event staff, and by coordinating closely with clientele to meet their needs

Projects

& PUBLICATIONS

INSIDEOUT

A BIO-INSPIRED FRAMEWORK FOR JOINT ANGLE ESTIMATION FROM NON-COLLOCATED SENSORS IN TENDON-DRIVEN SYSTEMS
OCT 2021

Frontiers in Robotics 2021 Peer-Reviewed Article (Preprint Available Here)

JAN 2020

IEEE/RSJ IROS 2020 Peer-Reviewed Abstract (Preprint Available Here)

  • Developed a machine learning algorithm that estimates posture in tendon-driven robots from non-collocated sensors to produce state estimates <0.01 degree in accuracy as an alternative to traditional on-location joint angle sensors

QUANTIFYING ERRORS

ERRORS IN PREDICTING MUSCLE FIBER LENGTHS FROM JOINT KINEMATICS POINT TO THE NEED TO INCLUDE TENDON TENSION IN COMPUTATIONAL NEUROMUSCULAR MODELS
MAY 2018 - MAY 2020

bioRxiv 2020.07.08.194381 (Available Here)

  • Quantified the error associated with approximating muscle fiber lengths from joint kinematics alone as a function of both tendon tension and musculotendon geometry

BASKETBALL SHOTS

SIMILAR MOVEMENTS ARE ASSOCIATED WITH DRASTICALLY DIFFERENT MUSCLE CONTRACTION VELOCITIES
MAY 2017

Journal of Biomechanics 2017 Peer-Reviewed Full-Length Article (Available Here)

  • Simulated 100,000 basketball free throws to illustrate that similar movements can induce drastically different musculotendon velocities (therefore requiring drastically different control strategies) through kinematic redundancy

RESOLVING REDUNDANCY

CONTROLLING A COMPLIANT TENDON-DRIVEN ROBOT WITH REDUNDANT ACTUATORS
MAY 2017 - JAN 2020

Github Repositories Available at danhagen/NonlinearControl and danhagen/ddp

  • Accomplished stable reference trajectory tracking for redundantly-actuated, compliant tendon-driven systems using a variety of tools like integrator backstepping, feedback linearization, and model predictive control

DANPY

A PYTHON PACKAGE OF USEFUL FUNCTIONS
SEPT 2017 - AUG 2020

Github Repository Available at danhagen/danpy

  • Created a fully-documented Python package with 95% test coverage that helps researchers visualize their code output with tools like a command line statusbar and a figure-saving function that creates Github-flavored markdown progress reports for fast and easy viewing

FIGTREE

GROWING FIGS ON THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE
SEPT 2019

Github Repository Available at usc-bbdl/figtree

  • Designed a continuous integration service for building a PPT from all of the lab members' weekly progress figures that increased productivity and accountability in the lab by streamlining and regimenting the sharing of research progress

0

Publications

0

Citations

0

Conferences Attended

0

Hours Spent Building This Website