The objective of this I/UCRC is to develop technological advancements in robotics and sensing as they impact key areas of economic importance to the nation and the well-being of humans. We define human well-being as optimal experience and functioning.

Dr. Andrews with a student team

 Human well-being touches many areas in which  complex computer systems are applied.  For example, we enhance human well being via medical improvements, such as socially assistive robotics and biomechanics; through improved infrastructure, such as weather prediction and analysis, power grids and power provision, agricultural process improvement; through communication and data exchange, such as management of system networks and exchange of big data, and through cybersecurity, ensuring the correctness and privacy of data.  We define robots as mechanical agents that perform functions on behalf of the human.  Robotic systems, then, consist of the different subsystems that enable the robots to perform these functions, such as communicating with the robot, propelling and guiding the robotic mechanical systems, receiving and processing data obtained from the robotic system and exchanging those data among robots and to appropriate stakeholders.  We define a sensor as a device that detects or measures a physical property in a selected subject and presents the information to the requester for analysis.

Our Center’s research areas include:

  1. System Engineering methodology for robots and sensors.  This work includes methods for improving robotic systems, system development and testing. Algorithms for robotic systems include decision making, collision avoidance, etc.  We also require development of a system engineering methodology, to include architecture, development and test.
  2. Medical applications.  This work includes use of robotics and sensors for biometrics, pattern recognition (facial patterns, patterns of movement), and remote monitoring.  Medical robotics include surgical robotics, robotics for rehabilitation and mental health monitoring.
  3.  Infrastructure for human well-being.  This includes use of robotics and sensors for improving reliability and robustness of the infrastructure, including the power grid, agriculture systems, and communications.
  4. Cybersecurity for robots/sensors.
  5. Intelligent Network Configuration and Big Data Transmission.  This includes configuration of networks to maximize data flow, and allow maximum data across a network.
  6. Analytics.

The objective is to create a plurality of algorithms and systems that can impact all areas of human well-being.

These areas face great challenges in common. For example, computer vision and robotic manipulation for defense applications encounter similar challenges found in medicine and analytics. The same algorithms used for surveillance in the defense industry are now used for cancer detection  Further, advances in one area may benefit another.

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