Cynthia Sung, Gabel Family Term Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, has been selected to receive a 2019 National Science Foundation CAREER Award. This award is the NSF’s most prestigious award in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.
The award will fund Sung’s research on “Computational Design for Robust Legged Robots,” which aims to use principles of robotics, data clustering and computational geometry to make engineering design for robots more accessible. Sung, also a member of Penn’s General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) Lab, believes that current robotics design tools prevent novice users from integrating robotics and its benefits into their everyday lives.
The computational framework that Sung will be developing is specifically for legged locomotion, with the goal of taking research insights and applying them broadly in a variety of fields. Her impact on robotics can be seen through the creation of her computerized design tool, “Interactive Robogami,” which allows users to build virtual robots out of basic body shapes, then print and fold their component parts, allowing for rapid prototyping.