Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mechanical Engineering

First Committee Member

Paul Oh

Second Committee Member

Woosoon Yim

Third Committee Member

William Culbreth

Fourth Committee Member

Mohamed Trabia

Fifth Committee Member

Pushkin Kachroo

Number of Pages



Material handling is an intrinsic component of disaster response. Typically, first responders, such as firefighters and/or paramedics, must carry, push, pull, and handle objects, facilitating the transportation of goods. For many years, researchers from around the globe have sought to enable full-sized humanoid robots to perform such essential material handling tasks. This work aims to tackle current limitations of humanoids in the realm of interaction with common objects such as carts, wheelbarrows, etc. Throughout this research, many methods will be applied to ensure a stable Zero Moment Point (ZMP) trajectory to allow a robust gait while loco-manipulating a cart. The examined objects range from simple carts (such as rolling and utility carts) to challenging carts (such as wheelbarrows). This work presents a comprehensive approach to addressing some of most convoluted material handling and loco-manipulation problems in field of humanoid robotics. Furthermore, towards the end of a five-year long research journey, the approach of telepresence and humanoid embodiment, via Avatar technology, was applied in the context of loco-manipulation and material handling. To understand the importance of this work, consider a scenario requiring human expertise to transcend the physical location of the human body (such as a surgeon not having enough time to travel to perform life-saving surgery); an approach—harnessing the innately long-range and precise abilities of robotic Avatar technologies—was successfully applied to material handling and loco-manipulation tasks, proving that humanoids may play an integral role in the future of industrial work, disaster response, and even life-saving surgery.


Avatar Robotics; Embodiment; Hunanoids; Loco-manipulation; Material Handling; Virtual Reality


Artificial Intelligence and Robotics | Robotics

File Format


File Size

95400 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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