RIVeR Lab is planning to advise/sponsor the following MQPs (Major Qualifying Projects) for the 2015-16 academic year. If you are interested in any of these projects please contact Professor Padir, tpadir@wpi.edu.

A. Assistive Robots for Improving Quality of Life for Older Adults 

(Please note, we will recruit two project teams on this topic.)

RIVeR Lab is working with local assisted living facilities and nursing homes to develop assistive robots to foster aging in place. With support from the National Science Foundation, we will advise two projects on designing assistive robots that can operate in home environments and perform activities of daily living. One project will develop robust software for WPI’s personal assistant robot FRASIER (Fostering Resilient Aging with Self-Efficacy and Independence Enabling Robot). The second project will utilize rapid prototyping techniques to realize CHEER (Co-robots for in-Home Evaluation of Environmental Risks) to prevent falls. Project teams will also work towards enhancing our lab’s connections with non-profit organizations and government agencies and businesses. Both projects will be validated within WPI’s @Home testbed.

B. Robotics for Advanced Response to Epidemics (RARE)

(Please note, we will recruit multiple project teams on this topic.)

Project team will work closely with our researchers to design and validate new gadgets and techniques within our emergency treatment unit testbed. The overarching goal of this NSF-funded project is to develop new technologies for preventing, detecting and responding to current and future epidemics (such as Ebola). Our current capabilities include telepresence robots, technologies for remote patient monitoring, bed-side technologies and decontamination robots.

C. Accelerating Mammalian Embryo Research Using Co-Robots

This project will be completed in close collaboration with the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Department of Cell and Developmental Biology. The study of early mammalian development requires the analysis of gene expression at the whole organism level. This allows for the temporal and spatial visualization of the patterns of gene expression that control embryonic development. The foremost technique used in these studies is wholemount in situ hybridization. This technique is highly laborious and tedious consisting of approximately 50 steps that vary in time of incubation, and temperature with the whole technique spanning three days. The overarching goal in this collaborative project is to enhance the experimental research outcomes, minimize human errors, and accelerate the training of next generation developmental biology researchers by iteratively designing, prototyping and validating a new class of rapidly engineered co-robots that can work side-by-side with developmental biology researchers.

D. WALRUS Rover Autonomy and Payload Development

The project team will advance the capabilities of WALRUS Rover: http://robot.neu.edu/walrus/

We continue to add more project ideas here…