UC San Diego is advancing and integrating many of the core research areas that will converge in the development of useful robotics systems. These robotics systems will function in the real world based on the contextual information they perceive, in real time. Elder care and assisted living, disaster response, medicine, transportation and environmental sensing are just some of the helpful applications that could emerge from tomorrow’s human-friendly robots.

Meet the newest robotics faculty cluster hire at UC San Diego.

December 23, 2016

Control algorithms could keep sensor-laden balloons afloat in hurricanes for a week

Controls engineers at UC San Diego have developed practical strategies for building and coordinating scores of sensor-laden balloons within hurricanes. Using onboard GPS and cellphone-grade sensors, each drifting balloon becomes part of a ``swarm’’ of robotic vehicles, which can periodically report, via satellite uplink, their position, the local temperature, pressure, humidity and wind velocity. This new, comparatively low-cost sensing strategy promises to provide much-needed in situ sampling of environmental conditions for a longer range of time and from many vantage points within developing hurricanes. This has the potential to greatly improve efforts to estimate and forecast the intensity and track of future hurricanes in real time. Full Story

December 12, 2016

Israel's Journey to the Moon

In 2010, Yonatan Winetraub, a citizen of Israel, sat down with two friends at a bar and said, “I have a crazy idea. Why don’t we be the first Israelis to land a spacecraft on the moon?” Six years later, the company they founded, SpaceIL, is making history as part of the Google Lunar XPRIZE competition aimed at placing an unmanned spacecraft on the moon's surface before the mission deadline of December 31, 2017.  Full Story