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NSF CPS: Ant-Like Microrobots—Fast, Small, and Under Control

Funding Agency 

National Science Foundation

Description 

A team of Clark School faculty from the Institute for Systems Research, the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and the Mechanical Engineering Department has won a three-year, $1.5 million National Science Foundation grant for Ant-Like Microrobots—Fast, Small, and Under Control. Assistant Professor Nuno Martins (ECE/ISR) is the principal investigator. Co-PIs are Associate Professor Pamela Abshire (ECE/ISR), Associate Professor Elisabeth Smela (ME), and Assistant Professor Sarah Bergbreiter (ME/ISR). No robots at the sub-cm3 scale exist because their development faces a number of open challenges. This research will identify and determine means for solving these challenges. In addition, it will provide new solutions to outstanding questions about resource-constrained algorithms, architectures, and actuators that can be widely leveraged in other applications. The team will discover new fundamental principles, design methods, and technologies for realizing distributed networks of sub-cm3, ant-sized mobile microrobots that self-organize into cooperative configurations.