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Current Automation and Intelligent Systems Research

Unmanned Systems

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 Dogan, Dr. Brian Huff, Dr. Frank Lewis, and Dr. Kamesh Subbarao.

Assistive Interface for Reservation System

A joint effort between UT Arlington and Robotic Research, LLC, and utilizing the expertise of Dr. Manfred Huber from the Computer Science and Engineering Department as well as Dr. Dan Popa from the Electrical Engineering Department, this is a specific implementation of ARIBO. UTA will supply the reservation system that manages the autonomous vehicles provided by Robotic Research, LLC.

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

Walmart U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Grant

The Walmart U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Grant is part of collaboration among Walmart, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Walmart Foundation that encourages creation of new processes, ideas and jobs that will foster America’s growing manufacturing footprint. UT Arlington was one of seven research and development institutions to receive a grant.

Through its grant, UT Arlington will build a robotic small motors assembly and testing system that would cut the manufacturing costs of goods, allowing those goods to be produced in the United States that were formerly built overseas.

Funding Agency: Walmart U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund

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


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, Denso, and Baxter robots. PR2 and Baxter robots are ROS based, allowing our researchers to create packages on these development platforms and reuse portions on other target robots.