EECS Colloquium: Robots for Everyone Everywhere

Colloquium | September 20 | 4-5 p.m. | Soda Hall, 306 (HP Auditorium)

 Ankur Mehta, UCLA

 Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (EECS)

Creating and using new robotic systems has typically been limited to experts, requiring engineering background, expensive tools, and considerable time. Instead, I am working to create systems to automatically design, fabricate, and control functional robots from a simple description of the problem at hand. By enabling the on-demand creation of integrated electromechanical systems by casual everyday users, we can get to a point where we can say for any real-world task, "there's a robot for that."

I have moved towards this vision with a system that can create programmed printable robots from high-level task descriptions. A software-defined-hardware abstraction allows the algorithmic compilation of fabricable subsystem designs from a structural specification; this is in turn generated from a user assisted grounding of a Structured English behavioral specification. The compiled designs are then manufactured using printable manufacturing processes, and programmed with autogenerated code. Advanced wireless protocols and communication hardware enable swarms of such robots to interact with each other and users. In this way, fully functional printable robots can be quickly and cheaply designed, fabricated, and controlled to solve custom tasks by casual users.

Biography

Prof. Ankur Mehta is an assistant professor in the Electrical Engineering department of the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science at UCLA. Pushing towards his visions of a future filled with robots, his research interests involve printable robotics, rapid design and fabrication, control systems, and wireless sensor networks. His research has also included autonomous vehicle control, small autonomous aerial robots and rockets, and micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS).

Prof. Mehta has received best paper awards in the 2015 IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine and the 2014 International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, and was named a UCLA Samueli Fellow in 2015.

 jennyj@berkeley.edu