Rensselaer research teams receive funding for better understanding of robotics

  • March 02, 2022
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Automation Technology and Systems Center
  • News

Rensselaer research teams receive funding for better understanding of robotics

Two new research projects from the School of Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have been selected by the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Institute to receive funding to develop tools that will address critical aspects of robotic manufacturing technologies.

The projects were chosen because they focus on modernization priorities set by the US Department of Defense while strengthening American manufacturing and empowering workers.

“Advanced robotics is transforming manufacturing by putting cutting-edge modeling, automation and control theory, and data analytics into practice,” said Shekhar Garde, Dean of the School of Engineering. “These ARM awards are a testament to the cutting-edge robotics research conducted by Rensselaer Engineering faculty and staff.”

The project led by John Wen, Professor and Department Head of Electrical, Computer and Systems Engineering at Rensselaer, aims to autonomously create a high-speed, high-precision curvilinear robot toolpath on complex curved geometry using industrial robots with redundant degrees of freedom, to reduce or eliminate the current need for manual adjustment. This project is driven by robotic needs for spraying and deposition fabrication. Dr. Wen is joined in this research by partners from General Electric Research, the Southwest Research Institute and Wason Technology.

The project led by Glenn Saunders, senior research engineer at Rensselaer’s Manufacturing Innovation Center, aims to develop fundamental technologies for the robotic manipulation of energetic materials. It will demonstrate safety systems, robotic manipulation strategies and designs immediately applicable to the manufacture of shaped charges, as well as more broadly to the production of other energy-using devices and products. In partnership with Saunders, research teams from Schlumberger, Interface Technologies and FANUC America.

The Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Institute, funded by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, is built on a unique, robust and diverse ecosystem of more than 330 members and consortium partners from industry, academia and government to make robotics, autonomy, and artificial intelligence more accessible to American manufacturers large and small, train and empower the manufacturing workforce, strengthen our economy and global competitiveness, and increase safety and national resilience.

The project also received significant matching funds from the New York Empire State Development Division on Science, Technology, and Innovation (NYSTAR).

Rensselaer was named in 2017 as a founding member of ARM, a manufacturing institute run by the Department of Defense and part of the Manufacturing USA Network that works collectively to help revitalize American manufacturing and inspire companies to invest in the development of new technologies in the United States.

About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America’s premier technological research university. Rensselaer comprises five schools, over 30 research centers, over 140 academic programs including 25 new programs, and a vibrant community of over 6,800 students and over 104,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include more than 155 National Academy members, six National Inventors Hall of Fame members, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners and one Nobel laureate of physics. With nearly 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer remains focused on solving global challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration.

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