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Current Robotics Research

Unmanned Systems

Applied Robotics for Installation Base Operations (ARIBO) Roadmap

Applied Robotics for Installation Base Operations (ARIBO)Our research team is developing the Roadmap for Applied Robotics for Installation Base Operations (ARIBO).  The roadmap document will be roughly patterned after the FAA UAS Roadmap and will be tailored to the use of infrastructure and autonomous vehicles for carrying out transportation and transport needs and other tasks on federal and non-federal installations. 

Funding Agency: TARDEC

FAA Texas UAS Test Site

Working with the Lone Star UAS Consortium and Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi, UTA provides 1/3 of the research topics for the FAA Texas Test Site.  In June 2014, the Site was granted operational status, allowing for aircraft certification through this resource.  UTARI staff work on this effort with UTA affiliated faculty members Dr. Atilla DoganDr. Brian HuffDr. Frank Lewis, and Dr. Kamesh Subbarao.


North Texas UAS Research Operations

North Texas UASThis initiative is a means for UTA to conduct UAS sponsored research with our industry partners.  Because UTA is a public entity, we can leverage our ability to apply for Certificates of Authorization (COA) with the FAA.  We are working with local airfields and partners to provide a means for the operational support needed for these research activities.  The project includes strong involvement from UTA affiliated faculty members Dr. Atilla Dogan and Dr. Brian Huff.

UGV / UAV Summer Project

This project explores the cooperative behaviors between a UAS and UGV in support of UGV navigation.  Currently the work is being targeted to the UTA Airship and a small UGV but has the future potential to be re-targeted to other UAV systems. The project includes involvement from UTA’s Dr. Atilla Dogan and Dr. Brian Huff.

UAS Support to Transportation Operations

Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI), as a part of a Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) contract, will examine the use of UAS in surveying traffic corridors. In this effort, research covers UAS use for traffic congestion, road reparis, accident scenes and other uses. 

Assistive Robotics

Human Robot Interaction

This project concentrates on the repurposing of small military robots, particularly in human-robotic interaction. Alongside Dr. Dan Popa from the Electrical Engineering Department, UTARI researchers are using our PR2 as a development platform and a repurposed DR20 “Dragon-Runner” as a target platform.

Funding Agency: Qinetiq North America

Robotic Skin

Under the leadership of Dr. Dan Popa, with the participation of Dr. Frank Lewis, both from the Electrical Engineering Department, the Robotic Skin effort has prototyped a flexible skin that can be used to make robot external surfaces seem more tactilely appealing.  The skin can be embedded with sensors so that the robot would be more “aware” of its proximity to a person.

Robotic Skin

Funding Agency: National Science Foundation

ICC Golfball Sorting

In cooperation with UTA faculty member Dr. Gian-Luca Mariottini from the Computer Science and Engineering Department, this project uses machine vision to sort used golf balls according to brand and model.  As golf balls are conveyed, machine vision and associated algorithms identify the ball markings in order to properly bin the balls as they move past the sensors. 

Funding Agency: Innovative Conveyor Concepts

Arm Torque Sensor Prototype

In this effort, a prototype arm torque sensor is being developed that will be used to quantify shoulder stiffness.  This is a collaborative effort with the University of North Texas Health Science Center and is led by Dr. Rita Patterson (UNT HSC).

Funding Agency: UNTHSC


We have begun development of a transport robot for indoor use.  The research is designed to result in a family of robots that will use a common smart mobility base, and will have obstacle detection and avoidance technology and the ability to handle different payloads.  The first add-on capability will be for the collecting of household garbage from distributed trash receptacles.

Commercial Robot Prototyping

Baxter Robot

As an internal basic research effort, UTARI is engaged in creating additional capabilities for our PR2 and Baxter robots.  Both of these robots are ROS based, allowing our researchers to create packages on these development platforms and reuse portions on other target robots.