Subbarao Kambhampati, a professor of Computer Engineering, Yong-Hang Zhang, a professor of Electrical Engineering and associate dean for Research, and Dijiang Huang, an associate professor of Computer Science have been selected for awards through the 2014 Defense University Research Instrumentation Program. The program provides funding for major equipment necessary for ongoing or new research relevant to the U.S. Department of Defense.
Kambhampati, whose research is focused on robots and humans working cooperatively on problem solving, will use the funds for new robots.
ASU currently has several NAObots, which are autonomous, programmable humanoid robots. Six of them are used on ASU’s robot soccer team, and one in Kambhampati’s lab. Kambhampati plans to purchase two or three new humanoid robots, including an unbounded robot, the latest technology.
The new robots will use wheels, rather than feet, moving more quickly and making demonstrations more engaging. In addition, the unbounded robot has an advanced, intricate arm that more closely mimics a human arm and its multiple number of degree movements.
Zhang said his funding will be used to build more sophisticated and user-friendly materials and device testing systems for infrared detector research, which is also supported by a Department of Defense Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative grant and has defense and commercial application, such as night vision, security monitoring systems, and biomedical imaging.
“If you are driving at night, infrared can help you see better,” Zhang said. “For example, if a deer is coming out of the woods, headlights don’t project well, and this can be a very dangerous situation.
“Infrared also would be useful during a dust storm or in fog.”
Huang said his funding will be used to purchase communication devices, servers, and a spectrum analyzer to create the Open Human-Robotic Mobile Networking and Security Testbed, a secure mobile network to interact with robots.
Huang said that researchers and students are more frequently using mobile applications to communicate with robots and security is becoming even more important.
The equipment will support Huang’s ongoing research project, Traffic Analysis Models for Wireless Mobile Ad Hoc Networks, which establishes a user-friendly open MANET (mobile ad-hoc network) system for research and education.