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Associate Partners-Robotics

“My company successfully teamed with the Robotics Center to win a number of R&D programs that would not have come about without their unique blend of research capabilities.”
—Robert Kavetsky, President and Executive Director, Energetics Technology Center

ISR Associate Partners may choose to work with researchers in the Maryland Robotics Center, an interdisciplinary research center headquartered in the Institute for Systems Research within the A. James Clark School of Engineering. The center’s mission is to advance robotic systems, underlying component technologies, and applications of robotics through research and educational programs that are interdisciplinary in nature and based on a systems approach. More than 30 faculty from eight departments direct some 20 affiliated research labs focusing on different facets of robotics. Current research areas include:

  • Collaborative, Cooperative, Networked Robotics. This area is focused on developing a fundamental understanding of how a collection of robotic systems can cooperate and collaborate to perform complex missions. Research directions include bio-inspired robotics concepts, time delayed robotics, robotic swarms, cooperation under limited communication, task assignment and operation of distributed robot teams.
  • Medical Robotics. This area is focused on developing robotics solutions for improving diagnostic, therapeutic, drug-delivery, surgical, and rehabilitation procedures. Current representative activities include development of magnetic resonance imaging-compatible surgical robots, surgical simulation, haptics-enabled atomic force microscopy for cell and tissue characterization, exoskeletons for rehabilitation, and magnetic micromanipulation for drug delivery.
  • Miniature Robotics. Within this thrust, researchers are engaged in research ranging from the design and manufacture of ant-scale robotic insects to the rapid manipulation of nanoparticles for medical research. Current activities include development of microscale and mesoscale robots, bio-inspired sensing, actuation, and locomotion, cell manipulation, and micro and nano manipulation.
  • Robotics for Extreme Environments. This area is focused on developing rugged robotic systems to work in extreme environments such as space and deep water. Activities in this area are focused on development of a wide variety of robotic systems for space applications and autonomous deep-submergence sampling systems.
  • Unmanned Vehicles. This area is focused on developing a wide variety of unmanned vehicle platforms, including micro air vehicles, ground vehicles, sea surface vehicles, underwater vehicles, and planetary surface rovers. Current research in this area ranges from developing autonomy solutions for unmanned vehicles to using bio-inspiration for improving vehicle performance.

Collaboration examples

ISR robotics researchers have collaborated with both large and smaller companies. Here are a few examples of what can be accomplished when you team with us.

  • L3 Communications awarded graduate research fellowships to two Maryland Robotics Center Ph.D. students for work in unmanned vehicles and robot control.
  • Energetics Technology Center (ETC) partnered with us to win two Office of Naval Research awards for autonomous USVs using virtual environments and automated generation of autonomy software for unmanned ground vehicles.
  • Qualcomm Innovation Fellowships (QInF) awarded for “Robots need language: A computational model for the integration of vision, language and action.”
  • iRobot donated several robotics platforms which are being used in our labs for a variety of research projects.
  • Intelligent Automation, Inc. uses MDLe robotic motion control language in products and services.

Maryland Robotics Center videos

To see our robots in action, visit the Maryland Robotics Center's YouTube page.