Research Areas

Strategic research is at the heart of IRIM. Emphasizing personal and everyday robotics, as well as industry and defense automation, our researchers define the future role of robots in society. The study of basic engineering problems is central to our work, but equally important is the integration of innovation and discoveries into real-world systems and applications. The exceptionally high quality of our programs, faculty and laboratories positions IRIM as a global leader in robotics research.

Research in mechanics provides a better understanding of system dynamics, modeling, and control in various robotic systems, including uninhabited autonomous vehicles, manipulators and hands, assistive and rehabilitation robots, biologically inspired systems, and human-robot interfaces. IRIM investigates innovative ways to improve teleoperation, intelligent sensing, and motion control.

Precision control is vital to the success of robotic systems, enabling robots to move in safe, effective, and predictable ways. IRIM explores new approaches to the challenges associated with placing human operators in robotic control loops, including better collision avoidance, disturbance negation, and collaborative locomotion. We focus on developing new methods for hybrid and behavior-based controls to improve coordinated sensing and action.

With better detection skills, robots can navigate in a more friendly fashion. Our work improves robot perception with reliable object detection, registration, and tracking techniques. Using continuously updated geometrical maps, as well as vision and laser sensors, IRIM experiments with new technologies that allow robots to combine data from different sensory inputs in order to create combined, purposeful perception.

Fundamental research in AI and cognition involves building autonomous agents that live and interact with large numbers of other intelligent agents, including humans, to accomplish tasks more effectively and to respond to environmental changes more efficiently. Focusing on scalability, IRIM uses machine-learning techniques to model human behavior and develop new discovery, recognition, and planning technologies for intelligent machines.

Human-robot interaction (HRI) research focuses on developing robots that can work cooperatively with people in dynamic human environments. Applications include building systems that are cognitively compatible with human partners, mechanical systems that account for human capabilities, and control systems that model interactions with humans. IRIM has a broad portfolio of projects in HRI.

IRIM explores both traditional and emerging fields of robotic system design and integration. We develop new technologies that allow robots to perform difficult and hazardous tasks, leading to improved human safety and reduced maintenance costs. Better-designed automated gantry, palletizing, de-palletizing, and unitizing systems provide economic benefits to all industries, including defense, manufacturing, healthcare, and biotechnology.