FY 23 Research Funding Highlights

Oregon State University’s College of Engineering is the nation’s seventh-largest engineering college and a proven leader in research, with impacts that extend statewide, regionally, nationally, and globally. Research conducted here expands knowledge and creates use-inspired solutions in fields such as artificial intelligence, robotics, advanced manufacturing, clean water, materials science, sustainable energy, high-performance computing, resilient infrastructure, and health-related engineering.

Beyond ChatGPT: Embodied language understanding

An illustration of a scenario depicting many tasks of interest to researchers in Embodied AI. Here, we have multiple robots operating in a kitchen environment, with a human asking one of the robots if there is any cereal left, while the other one cleans the dishes. The robots must use their navigation, manipulation, and reasoning skills to answer and achieve tasks in the environment. Illustration courtesy of Winson Han.

Drones and swarm robotics: Adaptive capabilities for human-robot interaction

Professor Julie A. Adams and her team of roboticists are hard at work developing a set of adaptive capabilities for human-robot teaming. In a recent interview, Adams explained her team’s focus on swarm robotics, where hundreds of robots are deployed simultaneously. The team’s goal is to enable a single human to deploy and control a robot swarm while maintaining a normal workload without being overburdened.

With sim-to-real, Cassie sprints toward a new engineering paradigm

Cassie the bipedal robot recently earned a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the fastest two-legged robot on Earth, running the 100-meter dash in just under 25 seconds. The feat is especially impressive, considering Cassie pulled it off blind, without an onboard camera. Instead, Cassie first learned how to run through a series of “sim-to-real” training sessions.

Robots to the rescue

The rescuers search for survivors in the darkness of a vast labyrinth, deep below the surface. They squeeze through tight spaces, navigate blind turns, scramble over obstacles, and struggle to avoid innumerable traps laid for them. One wrong turn could spell disaster. Communication is limited. And time is running out.

The softer side of electronics

Soft robots are made of pliant, supple materials, such as silicone. Some can squeeze through tiny spaces or travel over broken ground — tasks that stymie rigid robots. The field of soft robotics is still in the early stages of development, but it offers remarkable potential. One day soon, soft robots may be used in applications as diverse as searching collapsed buildings or as exosuits that facilitate recovery from injuries or strokes.