Human-like robots with skin and clothes embedded with sensors that could help machines accurately perceive the environment and better assist human owners are at the heart of a new $1.35 million National Science Foundation project led by Dan Popa, associate professor of electrical engineering.
Dr. Popa, who leads the Next Gen Systems group within the College of Engineering, is the principal investigator of a collaborative effort to advance robots and robotic devices, improve prosthetics, and enable those devices to perform tasks that people can no longer do themselves.
The four-year project is part of the NSF’s National Robotics Initiative, which is aimed at accelerating the development and use of robots in the United States that work beside or cooperatively with people. The UT Arlington team’s grant was the largest among the initiative’s 37 awards this fall.
Co-principal investigators are Zeynep Celik-Butler, professor of electrical engineering and director of the Nanotechnology Research and Education Center; Donald Butler, professor of nanotechnology and electrical engineering; Frank Lewis, professor of electrical engineering and the Moncrief-O’Donnell Endowed Chair; and Nicoleta Bugnariu, associate professor of physical therapy and neuroscience at the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth.