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Institute for Experiential Robotics Lab Unveiled at Northeastern University

The university’s lab is home to a host of robotic systems, including NASA’s lunar exploration snake-like robot

Scarlett Evans

December 1, 2023

2 Min Read
Ph.D. student Adarsh Salagame works on snake-like robot in the Experiential Institute of Robotics’ new lab
Ph.D. student Adarsh Salagame works on snake-like robot in the Experiential Institute of Robotics’ new labNortheastern University

Northeastern University has unveiled its new Institute for Experiential Robotics’ lab, outfittedwith an array of robotics systems including mobile robots, drones, virtual reality systems and industrial robot arms.

Institute roboticists are developing robots for a wide range of applications, including chopstick-handling robots for precise hand manipulation, a snake-like robot for NASA’s lunar exploration efforts and industrial robotic arms for seafood packing.

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The lab takes up the first level of the university’s science and engineering complex on the Boston campus and is approximately the size of a basketball court. 

The lab also has fabrication rooms for electronics, 3D-printing and laser cutting.

“Our mission is straightforward in my mind — enrich human experiences through meaningful development and deployment of robotics technology,” said Taskin Padir, director of the institute. 

“We’ve been working with the design team for the past six years even before the groundbreaking of the building. We had a vision for the space where we can demonstrate what we mean by experiential robotics.”

The university said the lab is currently home to 20 faculty members working on robots for several applications.

According to Hanumant Singh, a robotics professor at Northeastern who has several underwater robots housed in the lab, a primary benefit of the lab is the ability for roboticists to work collaboratively in a shared space.

Related:Underwater Autonomous Drone Tech Part of Subsea Robotics Center

“The biggest and the most important part of this is that we are working as a collaborative,” said Singh. “It’s an open space that does not belong to anybody that’s reconfigurable based on the project and the people that are working on stuff.” 

Executive director of the institute, Julie Marble, also highlighted the importance of collaboration in the lab’s establishment. 

“One of the main goals for the Institute for Experiential Robotics is to become the flagship for robotics at Northeastern,” Marble said. “If you want to have robotics at that level, you need to be not only interdisciplinary but you also need to have a lot of collaboration. One of the goals of this space is to create a space where all of our faculty and their grad students can work together collaboratively.”  

The lab is designed as part of the university’s EXP building, an eight-story, 357,000-square-foot facility the university says will “further the horizons of science, engineering, teaching and creating.” 

About the Author(s)

Scarlett Evans

Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

Scarlett Evans is the assistant editor for IoT World Today, with a particular focus on robotics and smart city technologies. Scarlett has previous experience in minerals and resources with Mine Australia, Mine Technology and Power Technology. She joined Informa in April 2022.

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