News Releases from 2019

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Clingfish biology inspires better suction cup

A team of engineers and marine biologists built a better suction cup inspired by the mechanism that allows the clingfish to adhere to both smooth and rough surfaces, such as rocks in the area where the tide comes and goes. Researchers reverse engineered the clingfish’s suction disk and developed devices that cling well to wet and dry objects both in an out of water. The devices can hold up to hundreds of times their own weight. They could be used in a wide range of applications from handling and packaging for produce, to robotic grippers in manufacturing, to the recovery of archaeological artifacts. Full Story


Get up and go bots getting closer, study says

Robotics researchers at the University of California San Diego have for the first time used a commercial 3D printer to embed complex sensors inside robotic limbs and grippers. But they found that materials commercially available for 3D printing still need to be improved before the robots can be fully functional. Full Story


ICRA 2019 preview: bots, drones and neural nets

From ways to improve long-distance surgery techniques to better ways to get robots to work with humans in manufacturing settings and to a testing platform for UAVs, engineers at the University of California San Diego will make strong showing at the 2019 International Conference on Robotics and Automation May 20 to 24 in Montreal, Canada.  Full Story


Robots to the Rhino Rescue

Researchers at UC San Diego and San Diego Zoo Global have joined forces to save the critically endangered northern white rhino from extinction. They are developing flexible robotic catheters that could aid in artificial insemination and embryo transfer on rhinos.  Full Story


Unearthing Mysteries of the Maya

UC San Diego computer science students are venturing into Maya tunnels in Guatemala, and at home in San Diego, to bring these ancient buried sites to virtual life. Part of the Engineers for Exploration (E4E) group, the students are guided by Computer Science and Engineering Professor Ryan Kastner and Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Curt Schurgers.  Full Story


Engineering touch

 A tool to help the visually impaired navigate crowded spaces; an interface to assist surgeons during a complex procedure; and a display that can change shape when heat is applied. These were all projects developed by students in the first-ever haptic interfaces class to be offered at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego. Full Story


The robots that dementia caregivers want: robots for joy, robots for sorrow

Building robots that can help people with dementia has been a longtime goal for roboticists. Yet until now, no one has sought to survey informal caregivers, such as family members, about what characteristics and roles these robots should have. A team of scientists at the University of California San Diego sought to address this by spending six months co-designing robots with family members, social workers, and other caregivers who care for people with dementia. They are presenting their findings at the Human Robot Interaction conference March 11 to 14 in South Korea. Full Story


Overcoming Delays in Long-Distance Surgery

An engineering-surgery team at UC San Diego is working to extend the reach of surgeons by allowing them to operate remotely on patients located across a city, country, or even the globe. They are developing predictive augmented reality systems that could help make telesurgery a reality. Full Story


See, Think, Predict: Engineers build a soft robotics perception system inspired by humans

An international team of researchers has developed a perception system for soft robots inspired by the way humans process information about their own bodies in space and in relation to other objects and people. They describe the system, which includes a motion capture system, soft sensors, a neural network, and a soft robotic finger, in the Jan. 30 issue of Science Robotics. Full Story


The Top 10 robotics technologies of 2018, according to Science Robotics

Henrik Christensen, director of the Contextual Robotics Institute at the Jacobs School is one of 10 of the world’s foremost robotics researchers to weigh in on the top 10 robotics technologies of 2018 in the Jan. 16 issue of Science Robotics. Full Story


New Robot Can Sense Plankton Optically and Acoustically

Oceanographers and engineers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego collaborated to modify a common physical oceanography instrument to be able to image zooplankton as it glides through the ocean. Full Story