Mark Yim and CJ Taylor Named New Director and Deputy Director of GRASP Lab
July 25, 2019
Published by Penn Engineering
Professor Mark Yim has been named Director of Penn Engineering’s GRASP Lab, and Professor CJ Taylor will work alongside him in the new Deputy Director position.
The GRASP Lab is an interdisciplinary research center now entering its 40th year of working to revolutionize robotics. A large part of the GRASP Lab’s work centers around making robots better at sensing and perceiving their surroundings to improve their reactivity, teaching them to adapt to a wide range of environments. Yim and Taylor are cornerstone members of the GRASP Lab, having a long history of impressive work in robotics.
Mark Yim, professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, specializes in modular robots consisting of moving components that reconfigure their overall shape to best suit a given task. A prime example of Yim’s work is his lab’s ‘SMORES’ robot that can perform extreme shapeshifting — going from a compact cube to a long snake-like figure depending on the circumstances.
CJ Taylor, professor in the Department of Computer and Information Science, focuses his research on computer vision, developing algorithms to interpret video footage and to automate surveillance systems. Taylor’s algorithms also help robots discern their location in uncertain situations, an application that Taylor is incorporating into underground robots for DARPA’s Subterranean Challenge.