Robotics: Passing the Tipping Point

Friday, Oct. 24, 2014, 3:00 pm

Mechanical Engineering
Distinguished Seminar Series
Warnock Engineering Bldg. (WEB) 2230
Reception to follow at 4:00 pm

Paul Oh, Ph.D.
Lincy Professor of Unmanned Aerial Systems
Mechanical Engineering
University of Nevada, Las Vegas

All are invited and welcome to attend
Light refreshments will be served


Abstract: Robotics is going through a rapid “growth spurt.”  Programs like the National Robotics Initiative (NRI) and the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) in the US and others in Europe and Asia have “tipped” the field into an era of disruptive and transformative products and services. Today’s unprecedented convergence of technologies makes the near-term outlook very promising.  Driverless vehicles and robotic factory co-workers, eldercare co-helpers that were “dreams” yesterday, are commercially available today.  A personal reflection of his experiences with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs),  humanoids, and the DARPA Robotics Challenge will be given.  Such reflection serves to articulate this “tipping point” phenomena and how they factor into transformative research and disruptive products and services.

Bio: Dr. Paul Oh is the Lincy Professor of Unmanned Aerial Systems in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). Prior to joining UNLV, he was with Drexel University’s Mechanical Engineering Department from 2000-2014 where he founded and directed the Drexel Autonomous Systems Lab.  He received mechanical engineering degrees from McGill (B.Eng 1989), Seoul National (M.Sc 1992), and Columbia (PhD 1999) universities. Honors include faculty fellowships at NASA Jet Propulsion Lab (2002), Naval Research Lab (2003), the NSF CAREER award (2004), the SAE Ralph Teetor Award for Engineering Education Excellence (2005) and being named a Boeing Welliver Fellow (2006). He is also the Founding Chair of the IEEE Technical Committee on Aerial Robotics and UAVs.

From 2008-2010, he served at the National Science Foundation (NSF) as the Program Director managing the robotics research portfolio. He has authored over 70 referred archival papers and edited 2 books in the areas of robotics and unmanned systems. He serves as Editor for several leading robotics publications including Springer-Verlag’s Journal of Intelligent Robotics and Systems and the Journal of Intelligent Service Robotics. He also served as Director for the NATO Advanced Studies Institute (ASI) in 2010 on Unmanned Systems which gathered researchers from over 20 countries to capture the state of the art and formulate research roadmaps. In 2012, he served as Program Chair for the flagship conference for the academic robotics community, the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), held in St. Paul, MN, USA.  He is currently lead of Team DRC-Hubo for the 2012-2014 DARPA Robotics Challenge.

In recognition of his international partnerships and impact on US research and education, he was one of three Distinguished Lecturers invited by the National Science Board to speak at their 60th Anniversary in 2010.

The Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Utah is committed to providing students with broad-based, rigorous and progressive education. By combining state-of-the-art facilities with renowned faculty, the department provides an education that gives students the necessary skills to become the next generation of innovators.