The University of Texas at
Arlington Research Institute celebrated its first year Friday, June 28, by officially
launching an assistive living laboratory in which researchers will work with robots
to help people live independently longer.
The institute also toasted its partnerships with business and
first year, the Research Institute has generated about $4 million in research
expenditures, forged new partnerships with industry leaders in robotics,
biomedical and advanced manufacturing and expanded its staff to a total of 50 engineers,
scientists and support staff.
Last year, the Research
Institute received two key donations of robots from industry leaders RE2 and
QinetiQ North America to support the Assistive Robotics Lab. In addition, the
institute purchased a PR2 robot from California robot hardware and software
firm Willow Garage to further research assistive robotics.
“We are becoming the destination companies can rely on for enhancing
product development in the field of assistive robotics,” said Rick
Lynch, a retired Army lieutenant general who is executive director of
the UT Arlington Research Institute. “Our team of researchers is
partnering with corporate and industry leaders to help robots become
part of our everyday lives and to aid us in our homes and businesses.”
said the new laboratory will offer researchers the opportunity to
explore the capabilities of a variety of robots, to customize
programming and make them easier to use and more valuable for a variety
The Research Institute’s robotics team also works with an
industrial robot manufactured by the KUKA Robot Group based in
Augsburg, Germany; a seeing-eye dog robot; Zeno, a humanoid robot from
Hanson Robotics Inc.; and several other robots.
The institute also
owns a number of high-tech instruments and processes that are available
to industry partners to augment individual business research efforts.
Those devices include a state-of-the-art 3D printer; nano- and
micro-grappling apparatus; a die attachment system used to make
integrated chips; and a metal deposition evaporator that helps build
metal and dielectric thin films.
“We believe these and other
high-tech tools and knowledge at our disposal enable the institute to
fill a needed gap for business and industry,” Lynch said. “We can do
preliminary testing and prototyping faster and cheaper than they can
because we have these tools readily available. Businesses don’t have to
invest in the equipment or the training to hire the technicians to do
Lynch has invited business partners to use the UT
Arlington Research Institute as a testing center for their own advanced
manufacturing and advanced technology.
“We want to be the
commercialization stop for business and industry,” Lynch said. “We are
quickly becoming part of a firm’s path to commercialization of specific
technologies or processes.”
About the UT Arlington Research Institute
UT Arlington Research Institute, based in Fort Worth’s Riverbend
Business Park, specializes in advanced manufacturing, applied robotics,
medical technologies and technology focused on energy, water and the
environment. The institute is dedicated to the development of advanced
technology to help humanity and to provide unique, affordable solutions
to complex problems. Visit www.uta.edu/utari/ for more information.
About The University of Texas at Arlington
University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research
institution of about 33,800 students in the heart of North Texas and the
second-largest member of The University of Texas System. Research
activity has more than tripled over the past decade to $71.4 million
last year with an emphasis on bioengineering, medical diagnostics, micro
manufacturing and defense and Homeland Security technologies, among
other areas. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more.