The NGS Group conducts research on the Next Generation Microsystems and Robots that are increasingly small, cheap, integrated, and networked. NGS is headed by UT Arlington Electrical Engineering Professor Dan Popa.
Multiscale robots and systems are the focus of our research. Robotics is currently undergoing a major evolution away from expensive, bulky, and difficult to use machines, toward inexpensive, small, user-friendly and safe systems. As we witness this remarkable process, many unanswered questions pertaining to how we design, manufacture, and interact with the next generation of robots remain to be addressed. In the coming years, we will be able to answer these questions only if we know how to make increasingly complex MEMS and NEMS devices.
Our current research in multiscale robotics aims to answer these questions, by looking at the following aspects:
- The size and precision of sensors, actuators and robots cuts across multiple scales from macro to nano. How do we design our microsystems and the robots that manufacture them in an intelligent way so that we can produce them in large numbers?
- The number or sensors, actuator and robots that must be aggregated varies between a few and large numbers. How do we network, coordinate, plan, and distribute the action of such collectives?
- The complexity and cost of microsystems and robots varies from low-complexity and low-cost, to highly integrated and reliable systems. How do we package and integrate sensors, actuators, into small devices and robots in a multifunctional, reliable and cost-effective manner?