Matthew Kelly

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Graduate School

I'm working on my PhD at Cornell university with professor Andy Ruina. I study algorithms for controlling bipedal locomotion (walking and running). Along the way, I've enjoyed learning about the many tools of the trade: non-linear control, rigid-body simulation, and trajectory optimization to name a few. My current research is focused redesigning the walking controller on the Cornell Ranger, making it better at avoiding falls while mainting its high energy efficiency.


I completed my BS in Mechanical Engineering at Tufts University in 2011, along with a minor in music. I did my honors thesis project with professor Tom James, where I designed, built, and tested a new type of bone saw. I also did a research project in robotics, jointly advised by Chris Rogers and Gareth McKinley, developing a non-linear controller for a fluid mechanics testing robot.


I grew up in Stone Ridge NY, a small town just to the Southeast of the Catskill mountains, and have a younger brother and sister. Now I live in a small farm house out in the woods near Ithaca with a few friends. The house is still heated exclusively with a wood stove and we cut and split all of our own wood. We also have a large vegetable garden in the summer and a flock of chickens that we raise for eggs.

When I'm not working on research, I enjoy being outside: hiking, biking, skiing, gardening, and making trails in the woods. On the weekends you'll often find me at contra dances around Ithaca. I also like working with wood - building bookshelves, tables, and turning bowls on my wood lathe.