Friday April 16, 2010

Check out the GRASP Lab Open House Collage Video...

Presenter: Roger Cholewiak (Homepage)

Event Dates:
  Wednesday May 26, 2010 from 11:00am to 12:00pm

* Alternate Location: Wu and Chen Auditorium*

Dr Roger Cholewiak will be presenting an overview of his programs of Basic and Applied research on vibrotactile sensitivity and pattern perception at the Cutaneous Communication Laboratory at Princeton and at the Naval Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory in Pensacola. He will describe how the findings from over 35 years of work have been brought out of the laboratory to address real-world problems in his consulting work with engineering firms throughout the country.

Presenter's Biography:

Dr. Roger W. Cholewiak is a Research Psychologist who has published and presented extensively in national and international venues. His expertise is in experimental design and tactile pattern perception, particularly as related to the study of the ability of humans to use the sense of touch as a communication system. He has worked in these areas since receiving his doctorate at the University of Virginia, for over 35 years. He is the retired director of research laboratories at two institutions, the Cutaneous Communication Laboratory at Princeton University and the Naval Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory (NAMRL) in Pensacola, FL, and was a NASA summer research fellow at the Johnson Space Center. At these institutions, he studied the appreciation of patterned vibrotactile stimuli presented to numerous body sites of young and older individuals for sensory substitution (e.g., for blind persons) as well as for sensory augmentation, particularly by aircraft pilots and astronauts. Factors explored in this research were the numbers and locations of vibrotactile sites, the vibrotactile sensitivity and acuity of these body sites, and the design of tactors and the optimal modes of pattern presentation. These were focused on best taking advantage of the capabilities of these loci so as to most appropriately communicate the relevant information for the task. He has directed international doctoral students at Utrecht and Mannheim, and has served as a reviewer of manuscripts for numerous professional journals as well as grants for NIH, ONR, NSF, NASA, and the Air Force.
    Since his retirement, in addition to teaching Sensation and Perception and Research Seminars as an adjunct Professor at the College of New Jersey, Dr. Cholewiak has continued to write professionally, and to serve as a consultant in tactile communication. He currently is consulting with companies and organizations such as the US Army Research Labs, Engineering Acoustics in Florida, Angel Medical in New Jersey, Barron Associates in Virginia, and SME in Massachusetts.

Presenter: Paolo Robuffo Giordano and Antonio Franchi (Homepage)

Event Dates:
  Monday May 10, 2010 from 11:00am to 12:00pm

* Alternate Location: Levine 307 (3330 Walnut Street)*

In this talk, we will present some examples of human-machine interfaces for VR applications and real-world scenarios. We will focus on two main areas: interactive simulation of vehicle motion, and remote control of individual (or swarms) of semi-autonomous agents. The underlying theme is the full exploitation of different sensory inputs (e.g., visual, acoustic, haptic, vestibular) to reproduce a perfect illusion of realism, to improve the situational awareness of human operators, and to ultimately facilitate their tasks.

Presenter's Biography:

Paolo Robuffo Giordano received the M.Sc. degree in Computer Science Engineering and the Ph.D. degree in Systems Engineering from the Dipartimento di Informatica e Sistemistica, Università di Roma "La Sapienza", in 2001 and 2008. He was a PostDoc at the Robotics Institute of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in from 2007 to 2008. He is currently Project Leader at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Department Bülthoff, and is in charge of the robotics and control-related activities. His interests are in the general areas of robotics and nonlinear control. In particular, he has been working on kinematic and dynamical modeling of physical systems, motion control of fixed and mobile manipulators, visual servoing, nonlinear state estimation, nonholonomic systems, control design for VR applications, and motion simulation technologies.

Antonio Franchi is a research scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Department of Human Perception, Cognition and Action. He received the  M.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering and the Ph.D. degree in System Engineering from the Department of Computer and System Sciences of the University of Rome ``La Sapienza'' in 2005 and 2009. He was a visiting scholar at the Center for Control, Dynamical Systems, and Computation, UCSB, California, under the supervision of Prof. Francesco Bullo.  His research interests lie in the areas of multi-robot control, human-robot interaction, state estimation and decentralized algorithms, with applications to exploration, localization, motion coordination, pursuit-evasion, and patrolling problems. See for more informations.

Presenter: Karlin Bark (Homepage)

Event Dates:
  Tuesday April 20, 2010 from 3:00pm to 4:00pm

* Alternate Location: Levine 315 (3330 Walnut Street)*

This work is motivated by the idea that new modes of haptic interaction are needed to expand the range of activities and applications for wearable electronic devices. In applications ranging from motion training and physical rehabilitation to teleoperation of a remote system, haptic feedback can provide valuable information about forces and motions, particularly when vision and audition are otherwise occupied. An under appreciated component of haptic sensation, particularly for applications involving portable devices, is skin stretch.

Presenter's Biography:

Karlin Bark received her Ph.D in mechanical engineering at Stanford University in 2009 working under Professor Mark Cutkosky in the Biomimetics and Dexterous Manipulation Laboratory. She received her B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan in 2003, and the M.S degree in mechanical engineering at Stanford University in 2005 with a focus on design methodology and controls. Her research interests include haptics, human factors based design, and robotics with medical applications. When not pondering the challenges of skin stretch, she enjoys keeping up to date on the latest in movies, television and theater, and spending quality time with her friends and family.

Event Date(s):
  Friday April 16, 2010 at 12:00pm

GRASP Lab opens its doors at noon on Friday, Apr 16, 2010 to celebrate National Robotics Week!  View National Robotics Week details and events across the nation,

Thursday April 15, 2010

The GRASP Lab participates in the AVUSI, Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, event on Capitol Hill for the celebration of National Robotics Week. View details on Robotics Online.

Monday April 5, 2010

Ben Taskar has been named, as one of 17, for the Office of Naval Research's 2010 Young Investigator Program recipients. View Recipients here...

Wednesday April 7, 2010

Shaudi Mahdavi-Hosseini, a GRASP Lab PhD Candidate in Electrical and Sytems Engineering under Ali Jadbabaie, just received a well-deserved and very competitive 2010 graduate research fellowship from the National Science Foundation. Here is a list of the awardees, NSF Fastlane.

Presenter: Yanxi Liu (Homepage)

Event Dates:
  Tuesday April 6, 2010 from 2:00pm to 3:00pm

* Alternate Location: Levine 512 (3330 Walnut Street)*

Symmetry is an essential mathematical concept, as well as a ubiquitous, observable phenomenon in nature, science and art. Either by evolution or by design, symmetry implies an efficiency coding that makes it universally appealing, especially so to computational science. Recognition and categorization of symmetry and regularity is the first step towards capturing the essential skeleton of a real world problem, while at the same time minimizing computational redundancy.

Wednesday March 31, 2010

The Robotics Mentor program was created to link current Penn engineering students with high school robotics teams in the Philadelphia School District.  The mentors work either on Penn’s campus or in the schools during club time to help guide students through the engineering design process, electronics, programming, and construction.  Mentors, through robotics, will be showing students the exciting possibilities of STEM education.