Medical Robotics and Computer Integrated Surgery (MeRCIS) Lab

Founded by Dr. M. Cenk Cavusoglu, the Medical Robotics and Computer Integrated Surgery (MeRCIS) Lab specializes in developing robotic technology that will revolutionize a number of medical fields. Robots are ideal for completing complex, precise tasks with an incredibly low degree of error. Surgery performed by robots has the potential to drastically increase positive patient outcomes, as well increase access to world-class health care through remote controlled surgical units. Robots have other potential applications in patient care such as patient monitoring, providing basic medical assistance, and serving as home-health care aids. Cutting across multiple departments such as Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Data Science, Systems and Control Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering, the MeRCIS Lab engages students of all kinds in order to expand what is possible with robotics in health care.

Biologically Inspired Robotics (Biorobotics) Center

Biologically Inspired Robotics Center, also known as the Biorobotics Center, is a cutting-edge research institute that examines how biological mechanisms can shape the future of robotics. Drawing inspiration from the movements of living creatures, the Biorobotics Center is developing technology that will allow robots to travel in every possible environment from aquatic to extraterrestrial and everything in between. The Center is also working to use robotics as devices to assist in movement clinical patients that have experienced a loss of normal motor function. Possibilities for these kinds of technologies are limitless—exploration, search and rescue, human assistance, and maintenance (see the Autonomous Lawnmower). Directed by Dr. Roger Quinn, the Biorobotics Center is another ground-breaking and unique addition to the IRI.

Distributed Intelligence and Robotics Laboratory

Distributed Intelligence and Robotics Laboratory is centered around research into sensor-networked systems, modular robotics and sociable robots with an emphasis on how these systems can be used in medical and health care applications. Recent innovations include InchBot, a grouping of small, network connected robots that can communicate with each other and complete a range of complex tasks at the same time; Tag-Games, a project developing innovative and engaging ways to test cognitive function, motor control, and learning skills; Philos, the robot friend, is a social robot that can monitor health data and meaningfully interact with people requiring specialized health care; OrigamiBots, novel origami-inspired robots for manipulation and locomotion; and many others. Under the guidance of Dr. Kiju Lee, the Distributed Intelligence and Robotics Laboratory continues to mine new and crucial territory in the future of robotics.

Mobile Robotics Laboratory

The Mobile Robotics Laboratory is run by Dr. Wyatt Newman and Dr. Greg Lee and is focused on creating mobile robotic systems and sensors that can be used for industrial applications, exploration, and home robotics for the disabled. The laboratory is home to engineering students from a range of backgrounds who have produced a number of dynamic wheel-chair based robots capable of autonomous movement, data collection, and controlled response to user input (either through remote or vocal control). The Mobile Robotics Laboratory has been a long time participant in the Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition (IGVC) and has partnered with Hathaway Brown High School in the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) for a number of years. Students working in this lab have the opportunity to help design some of the latest and greatest technology in mobile robotics and serve as mentors for up and coming high-school engineers.

Autonomous Vehicle Laboratory

The Autonomous Vehicles Lab is run by Dr. Francis Merat and is focused on the application of sensor systems (principally LIDAR and RGBD cameras) that can be used by real-world autonomous vehicles. The lab currently supports several vehicular robot projects: Project Raptor (Shown: A low-cost autonomous vehicle platform), Project SnowJoke (award-winning low-cost autonomous snowplow robot), Project Otto (IGVC competition robot), and we are also a participant in Duckietown (an open, inexpensive and flexible platform for autonomy education and research.) The lab currently participates in three competitions: ION Autonomous SnowPlow Challenge, Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition (IGVC), and AI Drive Olympics (AIDO). We are also dedicated to introducing robotics to the local community via various outreach projects. Students working in the lab will have the opportunity to work with real robots and accumulate experience.