Electrical & Computer Engineering Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Adaptive Robotic Nursing Assistants for Physical Tasks in Hospital Environments

MentorsDan Popa
Research Lab/Location
  • NGS Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) Lab
  • NGS Multiscale Robotics and Manufacturing Lab
Description of Research

One of Dan Popa's Next Generation Systems Group (NGS) labs is located at SRB 215 and is configured as a collaborative space between graduate students, postdocs and several robots, carrying out human-robot interaction studies. The lab includes  several robots such as Zeno, Phillip K. Dick, Baxter® and others  shown below.

The Adaptive Robotic Nursing Assistant (ARNA) robot is currently being designed and will be assembled in this lab with the help of REU Undergraduate students. This project is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under the Partnership For Innovation Project (PFI). More project information can be found at https://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=1643989&HistoricalAwards=false

REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates), funded by the National Science Foundation

NGS seeks to recruit an REU student from the Mechanical Engineering program who will be working on the prototyping and testing of ARNA for approximately 20 hours a week. His specific tasks during his 20 week REU will include:

  1. Take the lead with prototyping of the ARNA robot base. This base will carry the robot arms and the sensor package.
  2. Help other NGS team members with testing of closed loop physical interaction controllers with the robot prototyped. These tests will be conducted as part of a study under IRB at U of L.
  3. Work collaboratively with other NGS team members to fabricate and package pressure sensitive robot skin at MNTC.
  4. Write an engineering report on accomplishments during the REU program, and present results.
  5. Contribute to papers written by NGS team members describing our research progress.
ZenoPhillip K DickBaxter
  • NSF Grant #1560235, REU Site: Interdisciplinary Micro/nano-manufacturing Program Addressing Challenges Today (IMPACT), 2015, PI Kevin Walsh, University of Louisville.
  • NSF Grant #1156801, REU Site: Undergraduate Research Experiences in Sensors and Applications, 2012, PI Kambiz Alavi, University of Texas at Arlington.
  • NSF Grant #1132487, Travel Support for NIST Micro-Robotics Challenge at IEEE ICRA 2011, PI: Dan Popa, University of Texas at Arlington.
  • NSF Grant #1341984, Travel Support for Mobile Micro-Robotics Challenge at IEEE ICRA 2013, PI: Dan Popa, University of Texas at Arlington.
  • D. O. Popa, “Robust and Reliable Microtechnology Research and Education Through the Mobile Microrobotics Challenge,” in IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine, April 2014.
  • O. Yetkin; S. Ahluwalia; D. Silva; I. Kasi-Okonye; R. Volker; J. R. Baptist; D. O. Popa, “An extremely lightweight fingernail worn prosthetic interface device”, Proc. SPIE 9859, Sensors for Next-Generation Robotics III, 98590J (17 May 2016).
  • S. Cremer; F. Mirza; Y. Tuladhar; R. Alonzo; A. Hingeley; D. O. Popa, “Investigation of human-robot interface performance in household environments.” Proc. SPIE 9859, Sensors for Next-Generation Robotics III, 985904 (13 May 2016).
  • I. Ranatunga, M. Beltran, N. A. Torres, N. Bugnariu, R. M. Patterson, C. Garver, D. O. Popa: Human-Robot Upper Body Gesture Imitation Analysis for Autism Spectrum Disorder”, in Proc. of International Conference on Social Robotics, ICSR 2013: 218-228, Bristol, UK, October 2013.
  • N. A Torres, N. Clark, I. Ranatunga, D. O. Popa, “Implementation of Interactive Arm Playback Behaviors of Social Robot Zeno for Autism Spectrum Disorder Therapy,” in Proc. of 5th PETRA Conference, Crete, Greece, June 2012.
  • I. Ranatunga, N.A. Torres, R. Patterson, N. Bugnariu, M. Steveson, D. O. Popa, “RoDiCa: a Human-Robot Interaction System for Treatment of Childhood Autism Spectrum Disorders, “ in RasEnv Workshop on Assistive Robotics, in Proc. of 5th PETRA Conference, Crete, Greece, June 2012.
Minimum Student Qualifications
  • REU Student #1 Required: Mechanical Engineer Major
Pay Status$10 per hour
Timeline & Hours per Week20 hours a week for 20 weeks
Deadline of ProjectNo scheduled deadline
If you are interested and attach a resume