Rice’s Robotics Initiative seeks to advance the role of robotics studies in our university programs, encourage collaboration in robotics research with other universities and institutions, and make fundamental contributions in robotics to several core areas.
Health and Medicine
With close proximity to Houston’s Medical Center, Rice University is able to work together with doctors and patients in robotics research. With the help of Health-Related Research and Educational Initiatives (HRREI) at Rice and existing Baylor College of Medicine & Rice University collaborations, robotics labs at Rice have been able to partner with multiple institutions in advancing health and medicine, including innovations in rehabilitation robotics and robotic-assisted medical training from all of Rice University’s robotics labs.
Houston, the world capital of the oil and gas industry, has over 5000 energy firms doing business in the region. Dr. Ghorbel’s RiSYS Lab focuses on robotic applications in the energy sector. The in-pipe robotic program focuses on the fundamentals of robotic locomotion, sensing and inspection inside pipes. The swimming robotic program focuses on developing AUVs for subsea inspection, intervention, and oil & gas exploration.
Another goal of robotics research at Rice is to contribute to the advancement of aerospace technology. Rice University and NASA Johnson Space Center have a strong relationship, resulting in multiple collaborations in aerospace robotics, especially on human-robot interaction and task and motion planning. Dr. O’Malley’s MAHILab recently collaborated with NASA on the development of the “Armstrong,” a soft, wearable upper extremity garment, and Dr. Kavraki’s Kavraki Lab has been collaborating with NASA on leading-edge motion-planning technology for the Robonaut 2.